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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

T-Mobile and Orange isn't a big deal

Mark Bridge writes:

It’s the telecoms industry deal of the year. T-Mobile and Orange form a joint venture. The UK’s "big five" networks (or "big four", depending on your predilection for Hutchison 3G UK) will now be a "big four" (or "big three", if you don’t include 3. Confused yet?)

Everyone has an opinion. On Tuesday I was asked for mine.

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Here’s one for the laydeez

Mark Bridge writes:

Once upon a time, I’d probably have described myself as a feminist. These days I probably wouldn’t. Not because my opinions have changed, just because I’ve realised there are a lot of women who’d argue that I can’t be a feminist because of my male undercarriage. And me, by birth and possibly by education, therefore being part of the problem – not part of the solution.

Right, disclaimer over. I’ll get to the point. You want a mobile phone that’ll appeal to men...

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Mobile phones cause brain tumours?

Mark Bridge writes:

Mobile phones fry your brain. That’s been a warning from some people pretty much since the first cellphones appeared. And although the mobile phone industry has changed and the technology has advanced, the warnings haven’t gone away.

Ten years ago, the Independent Expert Group on Mobile Phones was set up to look at concerns about the possible health effects from the use of mobile phones, base stations and transmitters.

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Enthusiasm is my enemy!

Mark Bridge writes:

Enthusiasm is one of the great intangible powers of the world. It’s attractive, it’s compelling and sometimes it’s dangerous. And – yes, I’m going to try to keep this relevant – it sells mobile phones.

I was reminded of this the other day when I read a Sunday Times article about Apple’s Steve Jobs.

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A Blyk day

Mark Bridge writes:

Marketing, not unlike football, is a funny old game. I don’t claim to be an expert in either… but every so often something happens that starts sowing the seeds of doubt in my mind. And no, I’m not thinking about Liverpool's penalty claims in Sunday’s game at Tottenham. I’m thinking about Blyk.

Here at The Fonecast, we like Blyk. They shook up the industry and worried some of the big names when they arrived with their youth-focussed virtual mobile network two years ago. We interviewed their MD Shaun Gregory in May last year. And now they’re quitting the MVNO game in favour of arranging advertising deals for networks.

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