Qualcomm hit with another massive antitrust fine



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.

The provider of technology for mobile devices will also have to void contracts that call for licensees to share various customer sales details.

The company has been violating antitrust rules for at least 7 years and Qualcomm collected NT$400 billion in licensing fees from local companies during that time, the Taiwanese regulator said on its website Wednesday.

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In Taiwan, Qualcomm is required to submit a progress report on the matter every six months to the Commission on negotiations with related parties.

In a statement, Qualcomm said it intends to appeal the decision by the Taiwan Fair Trade Commission to the island nation's courts after the agency finalizes its ruling in a few weeks. The fine has "no rational relationship" to Qualcomm's actual revenues in Taiwan, the company said.

Qualcomm has been hit with a almost $774 million fine by Taiwan's Fair Trade Commission, which said today that the chip maker abused its monopoly over smartphone modems to squeeze higher licensing fees and better terms out of its customers.

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The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is also suing Qualcomm over its licensing practices.

Qualcomm has attracted scrutiny from regulators around the world, with it practices probed in South Korea, China, Japan, the European Union and elsewhere.

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After those lawsuits were filed, Qualcomm brought an action against Apple before the U.S. International Trade Commission seeking to ban imports of some iPhones.

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