A putative class action lawsuit filed on March 16 in federal court charges that Qualcomm has an unlawful monopoly in baseband processors (also called modem chipsets).
David Kreuzer, a resident of Illinois, owns an Apple iPhone 6, Apple iPad Mini 2, and Samsung Galaxy S6, each of which has a broadband processor.
Kreuzer claims that he and others with similar equipment have to pay inflated prices for each cellular phone and cellular device having Qualcomm's processors. He charges that Qualcomm, among things, fails to license patents on non-discriminatory terms, refuses to license certain patents to competitors, and enters into exclusive arrangements with customers, including Apple.
Qualcomm controls the market for Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) chipset technology — initially having 90 percent of the market, and still controlling 80 percent, charges the suit.
Qualcomm has battled suits charging it with monopoly before. Two years ago, it paid $975 million to China when charged with antitrust violations. Early this year, Apple sued Qualcomm, charging it violated China's Anti-Monopoly Law.
Qualcomm did not reply to a request for a response to the Kreuzer suit.