Qualcomm to Appeal Taiwan Fair Trade Commission's Decision in Investigation

Pablo Tucker
October 12, 2017

Qualcomm was hit with a healthy fine of $23.4 billion Taiwan dollars (around $773 million in USD) for reportedly violating Taiwan's competition law, and the Taiwan Fair Trade Commission (TFTC) recently issued a press release saying that it agrees with this fine.

"Qualcomm disagrees with the decision. and intends to seek to stay any required behavioural measures and appeal the decision to the Taiwanese courts", the company said in a statement.

Qualcomm Inc faces an antitrust fine in Taiwan, the latest in a years-long streak of regulatory setbacks to its business model that comes as it also fights USA regulators and iPhone maker Apple Inc in court over numerous same legal issues. "It abused its advantage in mobile communication standards, refused to license necessary patents.". The fine has "no rational relationship" to Qualcomm's actual revenues in Taiwan, the company said. The commission said Qualcomm's move undermined innovations in the industry.

During the seven-year period, the FTC said, Qualcomm collected about NT$400 billion in licensing fees in Taiwan after licensing agreements were signed, while Taiwanese buyers paid about an additional NT$30 billion to buy the USA firm's baseband chips.

Whatever Qualcomm says about Apple's actions, these fines will undoubtedly hinder its defense.

The commission said Qualcomm will be able to choose to pay the fine in 60 installments over the next five years.

Those regulatory challenges are playing out as Apple is waging a global legal battle on Qualcomm's long-held practice of charging a percentage of the total price of iPhones and other Apple devices as a licensing fee for its patents.

Apple has also joined efforts in other countries where Qualcomm faces probes from antitrust authorities.

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