Published: Thu, October 12, 2017
Finance | By Loren Pratt

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

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

The Taiwanese Fair Trade Commission said on Wednesday the fine reflects what it found to be seven years of Qualcomm using its position as the main chip designer for LTE, CDMA, and WCDMA chips to push its customers into agreeing to what it found to be unfair licensing agreements.

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. The San Diego-based company didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Regulators at the European Commission, as well as in China and South Korea, have all filed antitrust charges against Qualcomm, claiming that it has used anti-competitive methods to squeeze out rivals. The company is engaged in a fierce battle with Apple Inc. that has seen the iPhone maker cut off billions of dollars in payments to Qualcomm.

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.

Regulators allege during this time the company sold US$30 billion worth of chips to local Taiwanese companies and received NT$400 billion in licensing fees.

The Commission said in a Chinese-language statement that Qualcomm had a monopoly over the chip market for several so-called modem technologies, which provide wireless data connectivity for mobile phones, and refused to license its technology to other industry players.

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