The regulator said Qualcomm had monopoly market status over key mobile phone standards and by not providing products to clients that don't agree with its conditions, they were violating local laws.
“Qualcomm holds big number of standard essential patents in CDMA, WCDMA and LTE segments and is the dominant provider of CDMA, WCDMA and LTE baseband chips,” the FTC said. “It abused its advantage in mobile communication standards, refused to license necessary patents.”
The company is also being investigated by regulators around the world including South Korea, China, Japan, the EU, and elsewhere for similar violations.
In addition to the fine, the FTC told Qualcomm to remove previously signed deals forcing competitors to provide price, customer names, shipment, model name, and other information to the company.
Back in January, Apple sued Qualcomm for allegedly withholding $1 billion in rebates because it complied with Korean regulators investigating Qualcomm. It has since expanded that lawsuit on the heels of a Supreme Court ruling last month, arguing that the license agreements that give Qualcomm a cut of every iPhone manufactured are invalid.
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