Readers of my posts will likely be familiar with the FTC v Qualcomm litigation in the USA, which was an antitrust case concerned with Qualcomm's alleged 'no licence, no chips' policy and other issues that related to SEPs and FRAND.
But it now appears the UK may be about to have its own FTC v Qualcomm moment, as Which? (a consumer watchdog) announced its claim in the Competition Tribunal said to be worth in excess of £480m. I have not yet seen the pleadings, but the summary by Which? (see quote below) has strong echoes of the US litigation. Obviously it has its differences, not least as it is a group litigation claim brought on behalf of millions of consumers who purchased (specifically) Apple and Samsung phones since October 2015, and is being pursued under English law, but the parallels are certainly strong.
Expect further posts when more is known.
Which? has established a dedicated page for following the case (and for registering interest) at https://smartphoneclaim.co.uk/
I also commend my colleague Sophie Lawrance's article on our dedicated competition law blog, The CLIP Board, exploring the difficulty of the various challenges Which? will face moving forward, which may be found here.
Which? believes Qualcomm is abusing its position and employing an anticompetitive strategy that is in breach of competition law and employs two unlawful practices: 1. It refuses to license its patents to other competing chipset manufacturers. 2. It refuses to supply chipsets to smartphone manufacturers, such as Apple and Samsung, unless those companies obtain a separate licence and pay inflated royalties to Qualcomm.