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It's no secret that premium smartphones are selling for fatter and fatter stacks of cash these days. Now, the government is saying that's a problem — but not for the reason you might think.

The Federal Trade Commission brought an antitrust suit against chip-maker Qualcomm in 2017, and it's just now playing out in court. Per CNET, the suit alleges that Qualcomm took advantage of a non-competitive marketplace to overcharge Apple and other smartphone makers for use of its chips, technology, and intellectual property. 

So while yes, the latest iPhones carry a premium price because Apple keeps tricking them out with more premium features and ever crazier cameras, there are other reasons smartphones have hit hard-to-swallow new pricing plateaus. Across the entire market, smartphones might be more affordable if Qualcomm hadn't demanded such a sizable cut of manufacturer revenue as a royalty for using its tech. Read more...

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