(Legal Newsline) — The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced Jan. 17 that it
has filed a complaint in federal court against Qualcomm Inc. for allegedly
using anti-competitive tactics to keep its monopoly related to key semiconductor
the major supplier for baseband processors worldwide. These devices
manage mobile product-based cellular communications. According to the FTC, Qualcomm
bullied competitors by using its dominant position to impose anti-competitive
supply and licensing terms on cell phone manufacturers.
allegations against Qualcomm include claims Qualcomm maintains a “no
license, no chips” policy whereby it only sells to manufacturers that agree to
its preferred license terms, refuses to license standard-essential patents to
competitors, and that it extracted exclusivity from Apple by negotiating a
reduced patent royalties agreement.
seeks a court order to ban Qualcomm’s business methods; the FTC says the
methods are a violation of the FTC Act.
voted 2-1 to file the complaint. Commissioner Maureen K. Olhausen dissented. A
public version of the complaint, as well as a sealed one, were filed in the U.S.
District Court for the Northern District of California.