NBC Is Bringing Anchor-Style Reporting To Snapchat, Plus Qualcomm Is Getting Sued By Everyone

by 11 months ago

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“Everybody’s suing everybody.”
CNBC’s Jon Fortt comments on Apple and Qualcomm’s seemingly endless legal dispute over royalties. More on this in just a bit…


Market Corner

Market Snapshot

  • U.S. indexes rose with strong earnings from Morgan Stanley.
  • Tech stocks in the S&P broke past their dotcom bubble record.
  • Gold fell slightly as the dollar edged higher.
  • Oil finished higher as crude inventories fell.

Sue Me

When times get tough in the corporate world, there’s only one truly mature way to solve your problems: sue. And just keep suing.

Four big Taiwanese smartphone manufacturers (Foxconn, Compal, Pegatron and Wistron) are joining Apple’s marathon lawsuit against Qualcomm for its excessive licensing fees and violating anti-trust regulations.

Qualcomm’s kind of a big deal

It is the largest supplier of semiconductors to the mobile phone market, commanding a 50% share.

Apple? Also kind of a big deal. By purchasing chips for the iPhone, it drives a quarter of Qualcomm’s $24 billion in revenue.

But a MAJOR disagreement over Qualcomm’s licensing practices has this marriage seeking counsel.

Put simply, Qualcomm’s massive hold on the semiconductor market has allowed it to charge Apple to use its intellectual property, plus a 5% royalty on every iPhone it sells (almost $980 billion worth since 2007…).

And this licensing-plus-royalty bundle has generated 80% of Qualcomm’s pretax profits, which sends the message to Apple: “hey, if you like our technology, then you’ve gotta pay for the right to use it.”

Now that you understand, here’s the rap sheet—try to keep up

January 17th: the FTC sues Qualcomm for a monopoly over semiconductors.

January 20th: Apple sues Qualcomm for $1 billion in licensing rebates.

April 11: Qualcomm sues Apple for deliberately making Intel chip performance look better.

May 17: Qualcomm sues smartphone manufacturers for not paying royalties.

July 19: Manufacturers and Apple sue Qualcomm for unfair licensing practices.

So, if you still don’t believe this tug-of-war is a big deal, try this on for size: Qualcomm reported earnings yesterday—and what do you know—profits sank 40% without Apple’s royalties.

Which reaffirms the ancient proverb: The key to getting anywhere is measured by your ability to write a strongly-worded letter.

Stay tuned for the next lawsuit.

Channel 4 News Team, Assemble!

Soon, breaking news on Snapchat won’t just be what Pete had for lunch today—dude, it’s just toast with avocado, people have been eating that for centuries.

NBC is bringing anchor-style reporting to Snap in an effort to reinvent the way millennials digest daily news.

The short three-minute shows will cover up to five important segments spanning everything from Trump’s domestic fiscal policy to the Rock’s latest bench press PR.

As the first news source of its kind, NBC hopes to win over a portion of Snap’s 166 million daily active users with quick sound bites, integrated captions and flashy news clips.

And maybe there’s something to this. E!’s The Rundown averaged seven million viewers an episode, while A&E’s Second Chance drew an average of 11 million (compare that to primetime TV’s average viewership of 14 million).

Not to mention, if you were reading closely yesterday…or saw our Instagram, you’d know mobile ad spending might reach $18 billion by 2018.

There’s a whole lot of money to be made in this game.

It’s Christmas in July

After much delay, Samsung (-0.20%) finally introduced its long-awaited virtual assistant to the U.S.

Siri and Alexa, meet your new bitter rival dear friend, Bixby.

Samsung’s hoping the introduction of Bixby with its new Galaxy S8 phone will wash away memories (and debris) of the S7 battery nightmare that cost the company $5 billion.

Bixby is expected to perform every task we’ve become accustomed to from a voice-activated AI—order a pizza, crack an insensitive joke—and can be activated by a simple “Hello, Bixby” on the new phone.

While it’s been available on Samsung’s home turf of South Korea for months, Bixby arrived late to the virtual assistant dance party in the U.S. (where they’re all doing the robot) because of complications with the new language.

Like all of us, Bixby had some trouble learning English good.

What Else Is Happening…

  • Facebook (+0.79%) is testing out a paywall for media stories.
  • Univision might be opting out of its IPO and looking for potential bidders.
  • Softbank’s Vision Fund led a $200 million investment round for indoor farming startup Plenty.
  • Apple (+0.63%) hired a new exec to oversee operations in China.

Economic Calendar

Water Cooler

The Back Burner

We had a thought. How do we know what you all enjoy more, if we don’t try anything new.

Today, we decided to run with it. We wrote another short story in place of the “Backstory.” As you did yesterday, let us know which one you like more!

If the Bra Doesn’t Fit, You Must Acquit

“Your honor, we submit the following item of evidence to the court: one sports bra with four criss-crossing straps on the back.”

These words, in one form or another, will be declared to a judge when Lululemon takes Under Armour to court for trademark infringement on its Energy Bra, a $52 masterpiece of undergarment craftsmanship that has some…striking similarities…to four bras made by Under Armour.

This might be the first lingerie lawsuit you’ve read about because it’s not common for apparel companies to slap design patents on individual pieces of clothing. The process is a total headache and fashion trends are constantly changing (although man-buns are still in, right? Asking for a friend).

Still, expect the grind to continue for Lulu. With three dozen other design patents, the $1 billion sports bra market isn’t the only thing its placing bets on.

Now, to squeeze more men into those tight yoga pants…

The Breakroom

Question of the Day

How many keystrokes are needed to type numbers from 1 to 1000?

(Give Up?)

Who Am I?

  1. My net worth is $51.4 billion.
  2. I am the CEO of a large financial, software and media company.
  3. As mayor of an American city, I flipped a $6 billion deficit into a $3 billion surplus.
  4. I was the third largest philanthropic donor in 2015, giving away $510 million.

(Any guesses?)

Stat of the Day

$300 million

That’s how much Jana Partners profited off its investment in Whole Foods. It disclosed its stake in April.


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