What choice did the phone OEMs have? At the time, Qualcomm was the ONLY source for chips compliant with the US spec version of CDMA. Since that's not something that came from a standards organization, FRAND rules/pricing don't apply. Basically if you wanted to be able to sell phones that were usable by half the US market, you had to deal with Qualcomm. The only major OEMs who didn't have to talk to Qualcomm were Chinese players who didn't sell in the US market.
Samsung was the only major worldwide phone OEM that was able to work around that, but that's because they also hold a lot of LTE patents and couldn't be pushed around quite as easily as the others.
Who do you blame for Microsoft's monopoly abuse in the 90s, when they made PC OEMs pay for a Windows license for every PC sold, even if they didn't include Windows? Is that on Dell, who would basically have had to shutter if they couldn't get a deal with Microsoft to sell PCs running Windows? Or is it on Microsoft, who insisted on those terms?