Did Asus bamboozle the FCC?
Netgear is making some pretty serious accusations against rival Asus in regards to two of the company's wireless routers, the RT-N65U and RT-AC66U. According to a complaint filed with the FCC and subsequent lawsuit, Netgear says the aforementioned routers that sit on store shelves and are available to purchase online emit higher wireless signals than what the FCC allows. Netgear further alleges that Asus conspired with QuieTek Corporation, an independent testing laboratory, to submit false test results to the FCC to ensure certification as part of a grand plan to eliminate Asus' competitors from the wireless market.
We reached out to Asus for comment but have not heard back. That means we only have Netgear's side of the story, and there's plenty to tell. Netgear claims it voiced its concerns to Asus earlier in the year but didn't like the response it got, especially after its own tests revealed that Asus' routers failed a number of tests required for FCC certification.
If Netgear's allegations are true, it means the routers in question could interfere with other electronic devices and potentially pose a safety hazard. The FCC won't take kindly to that, nor would it be happy that it was duped, if that's in fact the outcome. On the other hand, if the FCC finds that Asus is in the clear, Netgear could be hit with a countersuit.
Since all this went down, Asus issued a new set of firmware that lowers output levels and deleted all previous versions from their website. Netgear believes Asus is trying to cover its tracks. David Henry, Vice President of Product Management for Netgear's Retail Business Unit, provided the following statement to Maximum PC :
After Netgear filed its formal complaint and lawsuit against Asus in July 2013, the company released a new firmware update for both routers mentioned in the lawsuit. Typically, when Asus releases updated firmware they continue to provide access to previous versions, but Asus has deleted all of its old firmware from their website for each product. One month ago they had seven firmware versions available for each product and today only one (RT-N65U) or two (RT-AC66U) is available. People can draw their own conclusions about what that means, but we find it very suspicious that they would do that.
Netgear's lawsuit against Asus accuses the company of all kinds of tomfoolery, including false advertising, unfair competition, violating the Sherman Act, and other monkey business translated into legal speak.