Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Qualcomm Faces Barrage of Complaints Over Business Practices

E-Commerce Times writes that Qualcomm (QCOM) "is facing charges from U.S. based companies that it improperly used its market dominance to squelch competition in Korea, where regulators are probing a fresh batch of complaints. Korea's Fair Trade Commission is examining allegations by Dallas-based Texas Instruments (TXN) and Broadcom (BRCM) that Qualcomm used the market power it created with its code division multiple access (CDMA) technology for mobile communications to unfairly limit competition."

According to the article, "at issue is how Qualcomm has handled the fact that its CDMA technology is the standard in Korea, where every mobile handset in use must be loaded with a compliant chipset. Manufacturers must pay fees to Qualcomm for each device sold."

The article discusses that Qualcomm is no stranger to lawsuits due to its extensive patent portfolio, and looks at some of the most recent litigation.

Gartner analyst Paul Dittner noted that Qualcomm is in the crosshairs often because it holds "an impressive portfolio of patents for cellular network technology" that has made it difficult for some competitors to gain traction with rival technologies.' He said, "Qualcomm has been a company based on its intellectual property portfolio since its inception."