Taiwan Govt. fines Qualcomm $773 million over unfair patent practices

Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission has fined Qualcomm the incredible sum of $773 million for allegedly having abused its monopoly over smartphone modems to squeeze higher licensing fees and better the terms out of its customers in the country over the last seven years.

They have been accused of violating antitrust rules by licensing its patents unfairly in the country. In late 2016, the South Korean Fair Trade Commission fined the company $853 million for alleged antitrust violations.

This decision has had the latest setback on the chip making company as they defend their  patent-licensing business.Even though Qualcomm is the supplier of chips for smartphones it’s  intellectual-property business is more profitable as it accounts for  roughly 80% of the company’s pretax profit.

In January, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission sued Qualcomm, alleging that the company has been engaged in unlawful tactics to maintain a monopoly on cellular-communications chips.

The commission has said that Qualcomm’s dominance in CDMA and LTE chips, as well as its major patent holdings for both technologies, has let the company abuse its position and refuse to license necessary patents.

Qualcomm has stated that it believes the fine “bears no rational relationship to the amount of Qualcomm’s revenues or activities in Taiwan.” The company disagrees with the decision and intends to seek a stay while it appeals the decision in the Taiwanese judicial system.

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

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