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Saturday, May 21, 2022

Qualcomm legal action moves forward in the UK

Which? seeks payout for Samsung and Apple smartphone owners

Consumer protection organisation Which? has been given permission by the UK's Competition Appeal Tribunal to represent Apple and Samsung smartphone buyers in a legal case against chip manufacturer Qualcomm.

Which? started its legal case in February last year, claiming that Qualcomm had breached competition law by charging Apple and Samsung inflated fees to use its technology, which led to higher prices for consumers.

The Competition Appeal Tribunal has allowed the claim to proceed to trial and has agreed that Which? is an appropriate representative for the millions of consumers allegedly affected in the UK.

According to Which?, which has set up a dedicated claim website at smartphoneclaim.co.uk, winning the case could result in a payment of around £16 for an average UK consumer who bought a Samsung or Apple smartphone since October 2015.

Anabel Hoult, Chief Executive of Which?, said "We’re delighted to have secured this great result for consumers, bringing them a step closer to the nearly £500 million that we believe they are owed by Qualcomm. 'If Qualcomm has abused its market power it must be held to account. This judgement ensures that it can be. Which? brought this claim on behalf of millions of affected UK consumers, as it would not have been realistic for people to seek damages from the company on an individual basis."

Which? has also published a response from Qualcomm: "We disagree with today’s ruling, though it is strictly procedural and in no way supportive of the plaintiff’s meritless assertions. The claims here recycle allegations in an old case brought by the Federal Trade Commission in the US, which Qualcomm won. The theories seen here were discredited two years ago by a unanimous panel of judges at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in the US."
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Opinion Articles

It’s time to prepare for the upcoming surge in signaling traffic

Robin Kent writes:

After initially suffering from slow pick up by consumers, 4G has begun to accelerate, and is now well on the way to the forecasted one billion subscribers by 2017. In fact EE, owner of T-Mobile and Orange, recently announced the addition of 493,000 new 4G customers to its existing base of 1.2 million.

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Mobile phone coverage: is this as good as it gets?

Mark Bridge writes:

A new report has highlighted the issue of poor mobile phone coverage in rural Sussex villages. BBC Sussex invited me onto their ‘Sussex Breakfast’ radio show to explain what could be done - and, as usual, I made enough notes for a lecture rather than a three-minute interview.

Here’s what I would have liked to have said if I’d been given a disproportionate amount of time to talk.

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Last week at The Fonecast: 27th January 2014

Expecting the unexpected

Mark Bridge writes:

Great news for mobile phone users. Ofcom’s new rules preventing unexpected mid-contract price rises came into force last week, which means UK consumers can no longer be surprised by their subscription charge increasing while they’re still locked into a minimum-term deal.

Author: The Fonecast
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Ofcom changes the rules for mobile phone contracts... and so does O2

Mark Bridge writes:

This week, new Ofcom rules came into force. They’re designed to avoid unexpected price rises during the minimum term of a mobile phone contract. Yes, just because you signed a fixed-term contract doesn’t mean the charges can’t increase. Networks said they needed this option in case of inflation or regulatory changes. Customers felt trapped.

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Review: CAT Active Urban rugged phone case for iPhone 5 and 5s

Natasha Cooper writes:

As someone who has been through more iPhone screens than I’d like to remember, when I recently upgraded to an iPhone 5s I was keen to keep it in one piece - for a few months at least. Cue the new CAT Active Urban Phone Case, which claims to protect your phones from falls of up to 1.8 meters using a reinforced material that can also be found in protective equipment for motor bike riders.

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A month of mobile: O2 counts on 3, Microsoft counts to 10 and Apple counts its profits

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