Qual­comm slapped with an­titrust fine in Tai­wan

Oman Daily Observer - - FRONT PAGE -

TAIPEI: Tai­wanese au­thor­i­ties have im­posed a record fine of nearly $800 mil­lion on Qual­comm for an­titrust vi­o­la­tions in the lat­est of a string of set­backs for the US com­puter chip giant.

Tai­wan’s Fair Trade Com­mis­sion slapped Qual­comm with a fine of Tw$ 23.4 bil­lion ($774 mil­lion) for harm­ing mar­ket com­pe­ti­tion and ma­nip­u­lat­ing prices fol­low­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion launched in 2015.

“Qual­comm’s il­le­gal ac­tions have se­ri­ously af­fected the (mar­ket) com­pe­ti­tion... to en­sure, main­tain or en­hance its dom­i­nance in the mar­ket,” the com­mis­sion said in a state­ment late on Wed­nes­day.

Ac­cord­ing to the com­mis­sion, Qual­comm had vi­o­lated fair trade rules for at least seven years by re­fus­ing to of­fer li­censes that are es­sen­tial for man­u­fac­tur­ing chipsets to ri­val manufacturers and had im­posed un­fair con­tracts on smart­phone mak­ers. Qual­comm earned more than $13.33 bil­lion in roy­alty fees and $30 bil­lion in base­band chip sales to lo­cal com­pa­nies dur­ing that pe­riod, it added.

The world’s big­gest hand­set chip sup­plier said on Thurs­day it would ap­peal the fine. “Qual­comm dis­agrees with the de­ci­sion... and in­tends to seek to stay any re­quired be­havioural mea­sures and ap­peal the de­ci­sion to the Tai­wanese courts,” the com­pany said in a state­ment.

Last year, Qual­comm was hit with a record fine ex­ceed­ing $850 mil­lion by South Korea’s an­titrust watch­dog for abus­ing its dom­i­nant mar­ket po­si­tion as a maker of base­band chipsets used in mo­bile phones. It was also fined nearly $1 bil­lion by Chi­nese an­titrust au­thor­i­ties in 2015 for vi­o­la­tion of com­pe­ti­tion rules.

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