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Something I am quite certain you know, but wanted to toss a red herring into the fray.

Not at all. This is the concept of "price discrimination", and it's well known in economic circles.

They are charging more because they have a higher credit risk with people with low credit scores.

I'm the same person. I buy a $10 vase and a $1000 vase. The credit card company charges different prices, yet their costs for processing are identical.

I buy a seat on American Airlines for $1000. The person in the next seat bought his for $250. We both booked on line, and the airline incurred the same cost of booking, fuel, equipment, and so on. Yet the prices are vastly different, probably because I am a business traveler and American knows it can charge me more. (It may even face higher costs if I am disabled and require assistance, yet it may charge me less!)

The airlines charges me $10 for a sandwich, which I could have purchased at the terminal for $7, or at Wawa for $5. Price discrimination based on geography and my perceived *willingness* to pay.

I buy a movie ticket, but it costs 10% less than yours because I am a Senior. The costs to the theater and the film owner are identical. Price discrimination based on companies' perceptions of a group's *ability* to pay (even if untrue.)

Black & Decker makes a power drill and sells it to Walmart at one price, and sells the identical drill to Home Depot for a higher price. Price discrimination based on the assumed importance and value of the end buyer. There's a famous story of when Costco was sent the wrong invoice from a supplier, and it showed that Walmart was getting a better price than Costco for the same thing. Jim Senegal fired them, but then he had a choice, there were other fishmongers to deal with.

There are "first degree", "second degree", "third degree", even "fourth degree" economic concepts of price discrimination, everything from geographic and demographic to volume and availability. Apple ay be aggrieved, but it's possible that Qualcomm is within its rights to do so. (Google 'fourth degree price discrimination', for example.)

PS: You pay for Microsoft tech support as an individual user, so your argument on that issue fails, too.
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