Qualcomm has been hit by a lawsuit from the American Federal Trade Commission over anti-competitive practices. The FTC’s suit comes after an investigation that called Qualcomm’s business practices into question.
The semiconductor maker stands accused of using its position in the mobile market to extract additional royalty payments out of manufacturers. It was also supposedly using that same position to ensure payments in the event that manufacturers use components from Qualcomm’s competitors.
There is also the issue of Qualcomm refusing to license its standard-essential patents to competitors. Qualcomm itself sits on the board that determines these standards in the first place.
A third charge alleges that Qualcomm gave Apple reduced royalty payments in exchange for an exclusivity contract. This essentially locked Apple in to using Qualcomm processors between the years of 2011 and 2016.
This is the fourth anti-competitive suit that threatens Qualcomm in recent times. The European Union, South Korea and China have already initiated their own proceedings against the chipmaker, although there has not been any rulings made of yet.