If you read MEGATech News with any regularity, you no doubt know the name Qualcomm. You can find the manufacturer’s products in a plethora of popular smartphones, and according to the United States Federal Trade Commission, Qualcomm has been using their position of power to force smartphone manufacturers into dubious licensing agreements.

Qualcomm is one of the only companies that can supply large quantities of high-end modems, which gives me a lot of leverage, and according to the FTC they’ve been using this leverage to push contracts that charge smartphone makers a higher-than-usual fee for using competitor’s modems in any of their phones.  By doing this, they’ve effectively established a “tax” on competitor’s products.

The FTC is pointing to a five-year agreement with Apple as part of their proof of this practice, an agreement that ended this year and – according to the FTC – is why Apple is now using Intel products in addition to Qualcomm.

Qualcomm isn’t necessarily denying any of these claims, instead saying they’re all perfectly legal and that the FTC is making a rushed decision with the lawsuit. This is not the first time Qualcomm has been targeted over alleged anti-competitive practices, having been fined in both South Korea and China.

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