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Conservatives Line Up Against Apple and Crony Capitalism

The Federal Trade Commission’s lawsuit against Qualcomm is seen as a “prime example of crony capitalism” by conservative leaders.

The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) lawsuit against Qualcomm has drawn criticism from leading conservatives who are connected to the Trump administration. In comments and op-eds, these conservative leaders view the lawsuit as an example of liberals targeting companies they don’t like and a “prime example of crony capitalism.”

Dan Schneider, the executive director of the American Conservative Union (ACU), cited the FTC lawsuit being launched by former Obama FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez as a “prime example” of liberals targeting companies they don’t like.

Schneider wrote in an op-ed:

“Former Chairwoman Ramirez’s lawsuit is indicative of the regulatory agenda employed by the previous administration. For eight years, we watched as governmental agencies increasingly infringed on the ability of industries and businesses to flourish. If allowed to proceed, her suit will endanger intellectual property protections and put free market principles at risk.”

“The risk this lawsuit poses is not to just one company but to our nation’s ability to maintain our global competitiveness and position as a technology leader,” Schneider continued.

Tea Party Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin also chimed in nothing the “frivolous lawsuit” was “launched by the Obama administration durings its final days on behalf of a liberal company”:

“What would you think if you were told that the Federal Trade Commission was still participating in a frivolous lawsuit launched by the Obama administration during its final days on behalf of a liberal company with deep Democratic Party ties? That’s exactly what is happening in the case of an Apple-backed “anti-trust” suit designed to help the company avoid paying for the intellectual property it uses in the iPhone.”

Former domestic policy advisor to President Trump’s transition team, Ken Blackwell, who currently serves as a fellow at the National Academy of Public Administration, said of the FTC lawsuit against Qualcomm:

“The case is a clear example of companies (mainly Apple) running to the government to help them do through courts and the regulatory process what they can’t in the marketplace. It’s evident that Apple lobbied for the FTC to take this action. Only days after the FTC case, Apple filed its own private lawsuit against Qualcomm – which read almost exactly like the FTC complaint. Other companies, like Samsung and Intel, who would benefit from hamstringing Qualcomm, have joined in.”

Independent Institute Research Director William F. Shughard II said in a recent op-ed that the FTC lawsuit against Qualcomm is “the most compelling example of the FTC’s inability to function.”

Meanwhile James Edwards, Eagle Forum Education & Legal Defense Fund Patent Policy Advisor, said about the case against Qualcomm:

“The case against Qualcomm is not only based on flawed economic and legal theory, but on something we’ve seen too much of in Washington: competitor-driven lawsuits and regulation. Rather than just use their lobbying influence, some companies advance their special interest by pressing government to engage in policies or lawsuits that hamstring their competitors.”

The FTC’s lawsuit is big news in the tech world and conservative leaders are taking note of the cronyism that it represents as Apple seeks to bend government to its will.