What you need to know
- UK Consumer advocate Which? plans to sue Qualcomm over alleged anti-competitive behavior which cost UK smartphone buyers millions of pounds.
- Which? estimates that buyers could be owed between £5 and £30.
- Qualcomm disagrees with the framing, saying that the case has no basis.
Which?, a UK consumer advocate, today announced its intention to file a class-action lawsuit against Qualcomm. The company alleges that the chip-maker had driven up smartphone prices artificially by refusing to license patents to competing chipset companies and refusing to supply chipsets to other smartphone manufacturers unless they licensed the chipsets and paid royalties to Qualcomm.
If the class-action suit is successful, Qualcomm would be on the hook for over £480 million, a sum which works out to between £5 to £30 for the 29 million affected UK smartphones. Naturally, more expensive phones as the iPhone X or XS will be on the higher scale, while something like a Galaxy A9 would be on the lower-end of things.
In a statement issued today, Which? said:
Which? chief executive Anabel Hoult further added:
Qualcomm, despite having made similar overtures to regulators in the case of NVIDIA, isn't a fan of this move. In a statement made to iMore, Qualcomm denied that the lawsuit had any basis to stand on, stating:
Which? is waiting for permission by the UK's Competiton Appeal Tribunal to proceed. In the meantime, smartphone users who purchased an iPhone or a Galaxy after 2015 can check here if they'd be eligible for a payout should they be successful.
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