FTC Finalizes Broadcom Settlement

An exterior view of the Federal Trade Commission building
(Image credit: Future)

The Federal Trade Commission has approved a final order of its settlement with broadband and TV semiconductor components supplier Broadcom.

That came after a mandatory public comment period on the proposed settlement.

The vote to approve the finals order was 3-0-1, with chair Lina Khan recusing her self from the vote.

Back in July, the FTC struck a deal with Broadcom to settle allegations Broadcom illegally monopolized the markets by conditioning access to its components on preventing customers from purchasing chips from its competitors.

Under the settlement, Broadcom agreed not to require customers to source their components exclusively or almost exclusively from the company.

Under the settlement, Broadcom cannot enter into certain exclusive agreements for chips for broadcast set-top boxes, as well as digital subscriber line and fiber broadband internet devices. It also prevents Broadcom from retaliating against customers who use its competitors.

The FTC pointed out that Broadcom dominates chips at the core of not only cable set-top boxes, DSL and broadband devices, but it is also a significant supplier of chips for streaming on set-tops, WiFi chips and chips converting analog signals to digital. Broadcom‘s direct customers are equipment manufacturers that supply AT&T, Charter, Comcast, Dish Network, Verizon Communications and others.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.