Taiwan: Qualcomm & regulators settle antitrust suit

After being slapped with a US$774 million fine for antitrust violations, Qualcomm has reached an agreement with Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission (TFTC) to remedy the situation. The California-based tech giant will only be forced to pay US$93 million of the initial fine,  money which it has already paid, and it must follow a handful of other rules put in place by the Taiwanese regulator.

The dispute arose after Taiwan’s regulator claimed that the chip maker abused its monopoly power over smartphone modems by putting higher patent licensing fees on companies that use the devices in their products.

Last October, when the initial fine had been announced, the TFTC claimed that the patents Qualcomm holds over its chip designs kept other potential chip makers from finding a footing in the market. Both China and South Korea had already fined Qualcomm over accusations of anti-competitive behavior, and Apple has put forth several lawsuits against Qualcomm for similar practices.

Under the settlement, Qualcomm will have to provide reports every six months to Taiwanese officials for five years to show it is negotiating in good faith with handset makers in patent-licensing.

Qualcomm is also in the midst of appealing a US$927 million fine from the Korea Fair Trade Commission and a US$1.2 billion fine from the European Commission. It also faces a lawsuit from the US Federal Trade Commission and is in a wide-ranging legal dispute with Apple.

Full Content: New York Post

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