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Qualcomm fined $774 million for abusing monopoly on smartphone modems in Taiwan

12 October 2017, 06:11 | Joann Bryant

Getty Images Qualcomm Inc. CEO Steve Mollenkopf

Qualcomm Inc. CEO Steve Mollenkopf

Notable American chip manufacturer, Qualcomm, has been hit with a record US$773 million fine for violating Taiwanese antitrust rules.

Following this announcement, Qualcomm responded by saying that it disagrees and will be appealing to the decision made by Taiwanese courts once they have time to review what the TFTC has to say. China fined Qualcomm $975 million in 2015, while South Korea levied a fine of about $865 million a year ago.

According to multiple reports, the Taiwanese FTC accused Qualcomm of abusing a monopoly it holds over mobile phone standards for wireless data connectivity and refused to license necessary patents to clients who don't agree to the company's conditions. 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.




At the heart of the TFTC finding - as with those in the other jurisdictions - is a charge that Qualcomm's standards-essential patent (SEP) licensing practices do not conform to fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms required by standards bodies.

"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 USA firm said in a statement.

The FTC said that in 15 days after Qualcomm receives a formal legal document on the punishment from the commission, the firm should pay the fine if it does not appeal the decision in a court here.



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