UK Consumer Group Sues Qualcomm
UK consumer advocacy group, named "Which?", filed a lawsuit against Qualcomm. They are accusing the company of abusing its dominant market position to overcharge for its products and seeking millions in restitution for smartphone users.
Among other things, the group argued Qualcomm’s practice of refusing to licence patents to competitors was unlawful and contributed to inflated smartphone prices. Anabel Hoult, "Which?" chief executive, stated Qualcomm’s strategy was anticompetitive and had so far taken around £480m from UK consumers’ pockets. She added the lawsuit was intended to send a clear warning to companies which employ manipulative practices.
If successful, the group said the lawsuit could allow UK consumers who purchased a Samsung or Apple device on or after 1 October 2015 to reclaim between £5 and £30 each. A Qualcomm representative said there was no basis for the legal action, adding the claims made against it were effectively put to rest by a US court in 2020. The company lost earlier spats with regulators in Korea and Taiwan over similar issues, and was fined twice by the European Commission for alleged abuses of its market position.