Taiwan Reverses $773 Million Fine Against Qualcomm

Smartphone chipmaker Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM) has reached a settlement with Taiwan’s antitrust regulators that reverses about 88% of a USD 773 Million fine it received in regulatory actions and lawsuits. The Company will instead invest USD 700 Million over the next five years to boost research activities in Taiwan. They will also be allowed to continue to charge manufacturers royalties on its technologies. The Fair-Trade Commission said it will keep USD 89 Million in fines that Qualcomm’s already paid but waive the rest.

Qualcomm has argued that Taiwan’s recent actions against the firm are part of a global push by Apple to elicit government support against the chipmaker. Apple is suing Qualcomm for antitrust violations, accusing them of unfairly leveraging its market position in chips and justifying it with regulatory actions worldwide in the European Union and the U.S. as well. The stacking of legal actions against the Company has affected its stock price with shares down 1% in early trading Friday.

In October, Taiwan’s antitrust agency said Qualcomm had a monopoly over key mobile phone standards, and that it was violating local laws by not providing products to clients that didn’t agree to its conditions. The Fair Trade Commission has also told Qualcomm to remove signed deals that forced competitors to provide sensitive information like price, customer names, shipment and model name which Qualcomm appealed, according to Bloomberg.

Qualcomm CEO Steven Mollenkopf said it will maintain its record of prevailing in court and insists that the fight with Apple is a commercial dispute that will be resolved when one side gains leverage in current trials.

A majority of Qualcomm’s revenue comes from its sales of chips connecting smartphones to cellular networks, but it receives profit from charging royalties on patents it owns over current high-speed data phone systems.

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