Qualcomm Fined $773 Million for Antitrust Violations in Taiwan

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Qualcomm also is embroiled in a tangle of bitter lawsuits with Apple Inc. and the companies it has contracted to manufacture iPhones, which are based in Taiwan.

The following year, South Korea's antitrust regulator slapped a record 1.03 trillion won (US$853 million) fine on Qualcomm for violating antitrust laws.

Qualcomm Inc. was fined a record NT$23.4 billion ($773 million) by Taiwan's Fair Trade Commission in the latest blow from regulators over the way the US company prices mobile phone chips and patents.

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. In a statement, the South Korean FTC had said that "It is the first time that the FTC corrects Qualcomm's unfair business model".

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Qualcomm is the dominant supplier of chips for smartphones.

"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", Qualcomm said. 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.

European regulators have also expressed antitrust concerns over Qualcomm's $38 billion bid to buy NXP Semiconductors NXPI.O . But China's National Development and Reform Commission left intact Qualcomm's long-standing business model of charging patent royalties for its cellular technology based on a percentage of the total price of the smartphone. It also agreed to modify some of its patent-licensing practices in that country.

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