Broadcom has filed an anti-trust suit against Qualcomm, claiming unfair licensing practices.

Broadcom has accused the mobile phone chip-maker of abusing the wireless standards-setting process by failing to license technologies on fair and reasonable terms.

Qualcomm's "monopoly" in CDMA (code division multiple access) chip sets has led to higher cell phone prices in the US, claims Broadcom, and the goal of the lawsuit is to prevent the same thing happening with 3G phones, the company said.

"Qualcomm's monopolistic activities limit competition, stifle innovation, and ultimately harm consumers and service providers," it said. The lawsuit [pdf] claims that Qualcomm's licensing arrangements violate its commitments to provide fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory licensing terms for technologies incorporated into telecommunications industry standards.

The abuses include charging discriminatory royalties, collecting double royalties and demanding overly broad cross-licence rights from its licensees, according to Broadcom.

Broadcom seeks monetary damages and a permanent injunction barring Qualcomm's allegedly unfair business practices.