The Federal Trade Commission alleges that Qualcomm failed to participate in licensing patents in fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms. These terms need to be FRAND because the items Qualcomm has patented are industry-wide standard items used for cellular connections to voice and data. Without the microchips Qualcomm uses companies cannot create the phones they need to stay competitive in market. Qualcomm’s fees are alleged to be disproportionately high relative to what the items contribute to the device.
These anti-competitive claims are in addition to a suit from Apple saying that Qualcomm is gouging prices and using illegal contracts and a suit from Blackberry stating the same. Price gouging and anti-competitive actions are illegal and can result in regulators or other businesses filing a lawsuit.
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