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


Today we learn that Taiwan's FTC has now slammed Qualcomm with yet another record fine of $773 million for violating antitrust rules for at least the last 7 years.

Wednesday, Qualcomm issued a statement saying it disagrees with the TFTC's decision about their business practices being in violation of Taiwan's competition law and would appeal it.

Similarly Qualcomm's $975 million fine from China looks puny set against Qualcomm's $11 billion annual revenues from China. In late December 2016, the regulator announced a $854 million fine against Qualcomm, the largest ever in the country/ In March 2017, South Korea also discovered that Qualcomm stopped Samsung from selling their chips to other handset makers.

The FTC announced a day earlier that it has chose to impose a fine of NT$23.4 billion on Qualcomm, accusing the US tech giant of violating the country's Taiwan Fair Trade Act by taking advantage of its monopoly status.

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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 regulator said Qualcomm abused its position by not providing products to clients who don't agree with its conditions.

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.