Millions of Apple and Samsung smartphone owners in the UK could be due compensation after Which? filed a claim against chipmaker Qualcomm for anticompetitive practices.
The watchdog said that it had to take action after Qualcomm allegedly used its position as a market leader in the semiconductor industry to charge inflated fees to manufacturers.
This means that around 29 million people in the UK could be due a relatively small sum in compensation as the higher fees caused the retail prices for smartphones to rise.
Which? says that anyone who bought a mobile device made by Apple or Samsung after 1st October 2015 is eligible for damages.
The payouts would range between £5 and £30 depending on the type of device that was purchased.
Which? believes that it has a solid case and has urged anyone affected to sign up for updates on how the case progresses. To find out if you’ve overpaid & register visit smartphoneclaim.co.uk
A spokesperson for Qualcomm dismissed the legal claim, stating that it had “no basis” following a similar case that was put to a panel of judges in the US last year.
In a statement, Which? chief executive Anabel Hoult said: “We believe Qualcomm’s practices are anti-competitive and have so far taken around £480m from consumers’ pockets – this needs to stop.”
The Competition Appeal Tribunal will now assess the legal claim and decide whether to hear and act on it.
It is not the first time that Qualcomm has fallen foul of competition regulations as it was fined £858m by the EU for deals that it made with Apple in 2018.