Apple hits back at Imagination Technologies in contract dispute

Apple Inc on Friday disputed the timeline of events leading up the disclosure by Imagination Technologies Group Plc that Apple plans to drop the graphics chip supplier, a loss of the UK company’s largest customer that sent shares plummeting.
Imagination Chief Executive Officer Andrew Heath said Apple told Imagination “at the end of March” that it would no longer need its technology, according to an investor call on Tuesday. But Apple said it told Imagination about its plans on February 9.
Imagination ultimately notified shareholders of Apple’s decision on April 3, which sent its shares down 70% and eventually forced it to put itself up for sale.
Apple’s claims that Imagination sat on the news for weeks without telling shareholders heaps more trouble on the company and could spur regulators to examine whether Imagination improperly withheld information from shareholders, according to one legal expert.
Imagination’s Heath told investors that Apple told Imagination at the end of March that Apple’s new products “at some point in 2018 or early 2019 would not contain our IP and therefore, they were not required to pay us royalties on it.”
Apple contested that timeline and said it warned Imagination that it would “stop accepting new IP from them” as early as 2015 and gave a final warning a month before Imagination’s CEO claims.
“After lengthy discussions, we advised them on February 9 that we expected to wind down our licensing agreement since we need unique and differentiating IP for our products,” Apple said in the statement.