Qualcomm Fined $773M in Taiwan Antitrust Case, Plans Appeal

Reuters

Yesterday the Taiwan FTC (Fair Trade Commission) fined Qualcomm an incredible $773 million (TWD 23 billion) for allegedly violating antitrust rules in the country over the last seven years.

The FTC announced a day earlier that it has made a decision to impose a fine of NT$23.4 billion on Qualcomm, accusing the USA tech giant of violating the country's Taiwan Fair Trade Act by taking advantage of its monopoly status. "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", the company writes in a statement.

The Chinese antitrust regulator fined Qualcomm $975 million in 2015, saying that Qualcomm abused its market position.

The TFTC reportedly determined that Qualcomm operated a monopoly in the nation's chip market and refused to issue licenses to rival companies.

They further said that during those seven years, it sold chips worth of around $30 billion to local companies and collected about $13 billion in licensing fees from them.

The financial penalty will be the heaviest ever handed out to a single company by the Taiwanese antitrust regulator since its establishment in 1991. The Taiwanese FTC also told Qualcomm to remove the deals that forced local competitors to provide price, customer names, shipment, model name, and other sensitive information, and other clauses in its agreements. Taiwan is only the latest country to go after Qualcomm over its expensive and onerous licensing terms: China and South Korea have both fined the company in the past two years, and Apple is now engaged in a series of global lawsuits against Qualcomm over numerous same practices.

Qualcomm naturally denies the allegations and intends to contest the decision.

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