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Broadcom Alleges Qualcomm Violates Antitrust Laws On CDMA

Chipmaker Broadcom alleges in U.S. federal court that Qualcomm's practices have resulted in too-high phone prices and unfair licensing policies to other vendors.
Wireless chipmaker Broadcom Tuesday said that it has sued Qualcomm, saying the mobile phone chipmaking company has violated U.S. antitrust laws.

Broadcom filed the suit in U.S. District Court in the District of New Jersey. It said in a statement that its charges "relate to Qualcomm's abuse of the wireless technology standards-setting process, its failure to meet its commitments to license technology for cellular wireless standards on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms "

It also charged Qualcomm with anti-competitive practices.

"Our goal is simply to ensure fair competition and a level playing field, not just for Broadcom, but for the entire cellular industry," Scott A. McGregor, Broadcom's President and CEO, said in a statement. "Qualcomm's practices prevent that."

The company alleges that Qualcomm's monopoly in CDMA technology -- it holds key patents on that technology -- has caused higher-than-necessary prices for previous-generation mobile phones.

"We are hoping that the courts will prevent the same thing from happening with the next generation '3G' cell phones," McGregor said. "Qualcomm's monopolistic activities limit competition, stifle innovation, and ultimately harm consumers and service providers."

Broadcom said that Qualcomm's licensing policies result in it "charging discriminatory royalties, collecting double royalties and demanding overly-broad cross-license rights from its licensees, among other things."

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