HN readers regularly miss the point of Ben's posts. I admit I'm a bit of a fanboy but sometimes I wonder if this audience just doesn't "get" Stratechery. Ben doesn't really care about Qualcomm here. It's just a poster child for what in his view is actually wrong: technology patents. Let me quote for those who skimmed:
"There is a certain amount of irony here: the government is intervening in the private market to stop the sale of a company that is being bought because of government-granted monopolies. Sadly, I doubt it will occur to anyone in government to fix the problem at its root, and Qualcomm would be the first to fight against the precise measures — patent overhaul — that would do more than anything to ensure the company remains independent and incentivized to spend even more on innovation, because its future would depend on innovation to a much greater degree than it does now.
The reality is that technology has flipped the entire argument for patents — that they spur innovation — completely on its head. The very nature of technology — that costs are fixed and best maximized over huge user-bases, along with the presence of network effects — mean there are greater returns to innovation than ever before. The removal of most technology patents would not reduce the incentive to innovate; indeed, given that a huge number of software patents in particular are violated on accident (unsurprising, given that software is ultimately math), their removal would spur more. And, as Qualcomm demonstrates, one could even argue such a shift would be good for national security."
IMO this is the more controversial claim he makes and nobody discusses it. I think I am in favor but I'm no legal expert. We just take it on faith that the patent system is the way the world works, but what if it's only the way the world -used to- work?
Trade policy is one of the few areas where I agreed with Trump. I still couldn't vote for him because of his narcissism and his racism, but now that he's president I do hope that he pushes back against China.
Our trade policies with China are grossly unfair and I agree that they are effectively self-sacrificial. China is extremely protectionist and economically nationalistic, and is benefiting greatly by playing this off against America's openness and globalism. We keep expecting them to come around and play our game, but as has become apparently with recent political shifts in China (no more term limits, etc.) they aren't and they won't. They're not playing the globalist game. They're playing for their own national interests.
Looks like most of the US tech community is welcoming this decision.
It's interesting to imagine their reactions when foreign governments intervene to block American companies acquiring their native companies.
Eg. the Dutch government blocking Qualcomm's takeover of NXP. (EU stalling the acquisition to investigate antitrust issues is different.)
This article doesn't make any sense to me. They are assuming, if Broadcom moves back to US, and bought Qualcomm, they would reduce its R&D and future contribution of 6G, hence all other gibberish. ( It is actually in Broadcom interest to stay at the top of the standard setting committees )
How would they force Qualcomm to continue its R&D for 6G even if they stay on their own?
How would they know, even if Qualcomm continue its R&D, those tech will be made into 6G standard, and not any Chinese competitors? Or any European Allies, like Ericsson or Nokia.
> Given well-known U.S. national security concerns about Huawei and other Chinese telecommunications companies, a shift to Chinese dominance in 5G would have substantial negative national security consequences for the United States.
I have a question about this. If the US government believes Chinese dominance in standard would be a threat to US national security would it not be fair to assume the opposite is true? Would US dominance in standard setting would pose a threat to other countries' national security?
Could anybody explain why would a Chinese dominance in the 6G standard-setting process would be to the detriment of US national security? Economic strategy, I get, but national security? It's not like only Chinese companies would be able to manufacture 6G chips once they'd set the standard... is it?
A very clever move by Trump indeed. Something that I wasn't expecting at all. This will surely delay China's streak of Domination in the Telecom sector.
This is an enlightening post. That the USA see influence on technical standards as a threat to national _security_ shows what they are using their own influence for.
Can somebody please correct this to ’Qualcomm’?
from the article -
> There is a certain amount of irony here: the government is intervening in the private market to stop the sale of a company that is being bought because of government-granted monopolies.
wait, what the author expect the US government to do? To give the deal green light so bigger monopolies can be created by such merges? Maybe Qualcomm should learn something and start talking to banks to acquire Intel. Just borrow a couple hundred billion from banks, like what Broadcom did, what can possibly go wrong?