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Qualcomm Forced Cell Phone Price Hikes|By Abusing Its Monopoly, Class Claims

SAN DIEGO (CN) - After inducing cell phone manufacturers to adopt its Wideband CDMA technology as the industry standard, Qualcomm abused its monopoly power and breached its promise to license the technology "on fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory terms" and jacked up its licensing fees, forcing higher costs to consumers, according to an antitrust class action.

Filing in Federal Court, Plaintiffs claim Qualcomm, "by its intentional deception of private standards-determining organizations (SDOs) has monopolized certain markets for cellular telephone technology and components." It did this by causing the Universal Mobile Telecommunications System to adopt its WCDMA "third generation technology" as the industry standard, the suit states.

After cell phone companies invested "billions of dollars" in adapting to the UMTS standard, "Qualcomm disregarded its FRAND commitments (fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory) ... (and) coerced device manufacturers and service carriers who are locked into the UMTS standard into paying supracompetitive (sic) prices to license Qualcomm's WCDMA technology," the complaint states.

Plaintiffs' lead counsel is Alan Himelfarb with Kamber Edelson of Los Angeles.


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