[Update: Qualcomm wins] Taiwan fines Qualcomm $773 million for Alleged Anti-trust Violations
Qualcomm, known for the Snapdragon line of processors used in nearly all Android flagships, faces yet another fine from a regulatory body. First from China, then South Korea, and now Taiwan, the San Diego-based chip producer can’t escape the hole its seemingly dug for itself. The Taiwanese Fair Trade Commission are now fining them roughly $773 million in anti-trust violation fees (via Reuters). This is because Qualcomm will not license out the many vital patents in CDMA, WCDMA and LTE they hold to other companies, for a reasonable price. China and South Korea both fined Qualcomm for similar reasons as Taiwan — Qualcomm charged unfairly high licensing fees, exploiting their market position.
Qualcomm disagrees with the accusation according to a recently released statement, and will be fighting it on the grounds that they do not believe the amount calculated was fair.
“The fine bears no rational relationship to the amount of Qualcomm’s revenues or activities in Taiwan, and Qualcomm will appeal the amount of the fine and the method used to calculate it,” Qualcomm said in their statement on their website.
Qualcomm is also fighting US regulating bodies on similar accusations for anti-trust, being sued in January by the FTC. This has all been happening while the company is also contesting another $1 billion lawsuit against Apple, who has claimed that Qualcomm is engaging in anti-competitive behavior by maintaining a monopoly on patents required to connect to some data services. Apple claims, just like the other commissions in China, South Korea, and Taiwan, that Qualcomm is overcharging for licenses for their patents due to the monopoly which Qualcomm owns.
This is not the only company with a large hand in Android facing anti-trust violation allegations. Google only recently appealed a European Commission fine after allegations were made that Google was prioritizing their own store over other stores on their search engine.
Update: Qualcomm Wins Settlement
As mentioned in the original article above from October 2017, Qualcomm intended to fight the ruling. An agreement was made that ruled in favor of Qualcomm. Most of the $773 million fine has been reversed. Instead, Qualcomm will invest $700 million over the next 5 years and boost research in Taiwan. Qualcomm can cease paying fines and continue to charge royalties to manufacturers.
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