FTC Charges Broadcom with Illegal Monopolization

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The Federal Trade Commission has issued a complaint charging Broadcom with illegally monopolizing markets for semiconductor components used to deliver television and broadband internet services through exclusive dealing and related conduct. The FTC's proposed consent order states that Broadcom must stop requiring its customers to source components from the company on an exclusive or near exclusive basis. Broadcom is a monopolist in the sale of three types of semiconductor components, or chips, used in devices that deliver television and broadband internet services, according to the FTC’s complaint. These chips are the core circuitry that run traditional television broadcast set top boxes, as well as DSL and fiber broadband devices. Under the proposed consent order, Broadcom will be prohibited from entering into certain types of exclusivity or loyalty agreements with its customers for the supply of key chips for traditional broadcast set top boxes and DSL and fiber broadband internet devices. The FTC vote to issue the complaint and accept the proposed consent order for public comment was 4-0-1, with Chair Lina Khan not participating.

FTC Charges Broadcom with Illegal Monopolization and Orders the Semiconductor Supplier to Cease its Anticompetitive Conduct