Qualcomm’s licensing terms are anti-competitive, US Judge rules


A US judge has ruled in favor of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in its dispute with Qualcomm. As a result of the ruling, Qualcomm must stop bundling patent licensing deals with its hardware (often referred to as its “no license, no chips” policy), and agree to grant patents on fair terms to other modem-chip suppliers. Qualcomm is expected to appeal the ruling.

In the ruling, Judge Lucy H. Koh says that “Qualcomm’s licensing practices have strangled competition” in parts of the modem market, harming “rivals, EOMs, and end consumers.” In the end, Koh decided that the company’s royalty rates were “unreasonably high.”

The judge also took issue with Qualcomm’s exclusivity arrangements, in which customers agree to exclusively use…

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