Qualcomm fined $773m in Taiwan for antitrust violations

Taiwan's FTC Hits Qualcomm with a Record $773 Million Fine for Abusing their Monopoly Power

Taiwan's FTC Hits Qualcomm with a Record $773 Million Fine for Abusing their Monopoly Power

Bloomberg reports today that "The Taiwanese regulator said Qualcomm has monopoly market status over key mobile phone standards and by not providing products to clients who don't agree with its conditions, the U.S. Company is violating local laws".

The Taiwan Fair Trade Commission said on Wednesday it would fine Qualcomm TWD 23.4 billion ($774.14 million) for antitrust violations of its chip technology.

It'll take weeks before the court issues a final word on the matter, and according to Qualcomm, the fine that it's charged with has "no rational relationship to the amount of Qualcomm's revenues or activities in Taiwan".

The financial penalty will be the heaviest ever handed out to a single company by the Taiwanese antitrust regulator since its establishment in 1991.

Taiwanese regulators state Qualcomm has been breaching antitrust rules for at least seven years.

In a statement, Qualcomm said it disagreed with the decision.

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 US firm's baseband chips.

Qualcomm must think the fine is doubly well worth paying both to stifle potential competitors as well as a cost of doing illegal, highly lucrative, business. 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.

European regulators have also expressed antitrust concerns over Qualcomm's $38 billion bid to buy NXP Semiconductors.

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