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Tags: FTC | Broadcom | Monopoly | Charges

FTC Charges Broadcom With Illegal Monopolization

FTC Charges Broadcom With Illegal Monopolization
(Paul J. Richards/AFP via Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 02 July 2021 03:45 PM

The Federal Trade Commission on Friday announced monopolization charges against the chip supplier Broadcom, accusing the company of using exclusive deals to create a monopoly on semiconductor components.

''Today's complaint reflects the Commission's commitment to enforcing the antitrust laws against monopolists, including in high-technology industries,'' FTC Bureau of Competition Acting Director Holly Vedova said in a statement. ''America has a monopoly problem. Today's action is a step toward addressing that problem by pushing back against strong-arm tactics by a monopolist in important markets for key broadband components.

"There is much more work to be done and we need the tools and resources to do it. But I have full confidence in FTC staff's commitment to this effort.''

The FTC notes in its press release that ''the complaint also alleges that Broadcom leveraged its power in the three monopolized chip markets to extract from customers exclusivity and loyalty commitments for the supply of chips in the five related markets. These commitments prevented Broadcom's competitors from competing on the merits for customers' business.''

The agency has offered Broadcom a settlement agreement that would ban it from entering into exclusivity deals for chips involved in television broadcast and internet services and from retaliating against customers that do business with their competitors. The company previously reached a settlement with the European Commission last year after coming under fire from antitrust regulators over its exclusivity deals.

One of the stipulations of the agreement was that Broadcom would suspend those deals involving chips that are used in television set-top devices and network modems. According to Broadcom, the terms of the settlement offered by the FTC are similar to the one it accepted by the EC.

Broadcom said in a statement to The Wall Street Journal: ''We are pleased to move toward resolving this Broadband matter with the FTC on terms that are substantially similar to our previous settlement with the EC involving the same products.

"While we disagree that our actions violated the law and disagree with the FTC's characterizations of our business, we look forward to putting this matter behind us and continuing to focus on supporting our customers through an environment of accelerated digital transformation. We are equally pleased that the FTC investigation into our other businesses has been closed without action.''

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The Federal Trade Commission on Friday announced monopolization charges against the chip supplier Broadcom, accusing the company of using exclusive deals to create a monopoly on semiconductor components. ''Today's complaint reflects the Commission's commitment to enforcing...
FTC, Broadcom, Monopoly, Charges
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2021-45-02
Friday, 02 July 2021 03:45 PM
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