DOJ


'DOJ' Articles

Huawei's Efforts to Steal Apple Trade Secrets Include Employee Bonus Program and Other Dubious Tactics

Last month, the United States Justice Department announced a series of criminal charges against Chinese smartphone maker Huawei for stealing trade secrets, bank fraud, wire fraud, and obstructing justice. Today, The Information has shed light on Huawei's tactics of stealing trade secrets, some of which were aimed at Apple. According to today's report, a Huawei engineer in charge of the company's smartwatch project tracked down a supplier that makes the heart rate sensor for the Apple Watch. The Huawei engineer arranged a meeting, suggesting he was offering the supplier a lucrative manufacturing contract, but during the meeting his main intent was questioning the supplier about the Apple Watch. The Huawei engineer attended the supplier meeting with four Huawei researchers in tow. The Huawei team spent the next hour and a half pressing the supplier for details about the Apple Watch, the executive said. “They were trying their luck, but we wouldn’t tell them anything,” the executive said. After that, Huawei went silent. This event reportedly reflects "a pattern of dubious tactics" performed by Huawei to obtain technology from rivals, particularly Apple's China-based suppliers. According to a Huawei spokesperson the company has not been in the wrong: "In conducting research and development, Huawei employees must search and use publicly available information and respect third-party intellectual property per our business-conduct guidelines." According to the U.S. Justice Department, Huawei is said to have a formal program that rewards

U.S. DoJ Charges Chinese Smartphone Company Huawei With Stealing Trade Secrets and Fraud

The United States Justice Department today announced a series of criminal charges against Chinese smartphone maker Huawei for stealing trade secrets, bank fraud, wire fraud, and obstructing justice. In the first of two indictments unsealed this afternoon, the Justice Department accuses Huawei, Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, and two affiliates of bank and wire fraud. Huawei is said to have misled a global bank and U.S. authorities about its relationship with subsidiaries Skycom and Huawei Device USA to conduct business in Iran despite sanctions, conducting millions of dollars in business. Huawei is accused of lying to the government, destroying documents, and attempting to move key Huawei employees back to China to impede the investigation. A second indictment accuses Huawei of stealing trade secrets, wire fraud, and obstructing justice for stealing robotic technology from T-Mobile U.S. for testing smartphone durability. Huawei violated confidentiality agreements with T-Mobile when it stole information on "Tappy," a T-Mobile robot designed to mimic human fingers to test smartphones back in 2012. Huawei employees secretly took photos of the robot, measured it, and stole components. T-Mobile won a $4.8 million lawsuit against Huawei in 2017 over the dispute. All in all, the U.S. filed 10 charges related to trade secrets for the T-Mobile theft and 13 charges related to sanction violations against Huawei. The U.S. is seeking the extradition of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou from Canada, where she was arrested in December. FBI Director Christopher Wray

U.S. Justice Department Files Lawsuit to Block Merger Between AT&T and Time Warner

The United States Justice Department today filed a lawsuit to stop a planned merger between AT&T and Time Warner, reports Bloomberg. The DOJ believes such a merger would result in higher bills and fewer options for consumers."This merger would greatly harm American consumers. It would mean higher monthly television bills and fewer of the new, emerging innovative options that consumers are beginning to enjoy," said Makan Delrahim, the head of the department's antitrust division.According to Bloomberg, this is the first time in several decades that the DOJ has sued to block a vertical deal, aka a merger between two companies that do not directly compete with one another. The lawsuit comes following a request from antitrust head Delrahim that the two companies sell either the Turner broadcasting unit or DirecTV, which AT&T refused to do. Given that the DOJ does not usually step in to block vertical deals, it is unclear how this legal battle will play out in court. Other similar deals, such as Comcast's purchase of NBC Universal, have gone through after certain conditions have been put in place. AT&T and Time Warner have been in talks over a merger since late 2016, with AT&T planning to shell out $85.4 billion for Time Warner. AT&T says the DOJ's lawsuit is a "radical and inexplicable departure from decades of antitrust precedent," and that it is confident the court will reject the claims and allow the merger to proceed. Apple at one time was rumored to be interested in a Time Warner purchase and was said to have monitored the deal between AT&T/Time Warner closely,

Apple Urging Music Labels to Stop Licensing Free Songs on Spotify and YouTube

Apple has been leveraging its power within the music industry in an attempt to push music labels to stop licensing freemium tiers offered by Spotify and other streaming music services, according to The Verge. The company has also reportedly offered to pay YouTube's music licensing fee to Universal Music Group if the label stops allowing its songs on the website, a popular destination for music videos. The report claims that U.S. Department of Justice officials are looking into Apple's business practices in relation to its upcoming streaming music service, expected to be a rebranded version of Beats Music that will debut at WWDC next month. "DOJ officials have already interviewed high-ranking music industry executives about Apple’s business habits," the report claims. Apple's much-rumored Beats streaming service would naturally be a more competitive alternative over two of its biggest rivals in Spotify and YouTube if it successfully convinces music labels to force streaming services to ditch their freemium tiers. Apple's service is expected to have lots of exclusive content, and only about one-quarter of Spotify's 60 million customers have paid subscriptions. Apple faces a similar probe from the European Commission over concerns that it's persuading labels to abandon free, ad-supported services such as Spotify in Europe as well. Apple's own Beats streaming service will reportedly not offer a free tier, requiring customers to pay a recurring fee of around $9.99 per month, similar to paid tiers offered by Spotify, Rdio and Google Play Music. Apple's