Qualcomm is fined $774 million in Taiwan for refusing to properly license its technology

Qualcomm is fined $774 million in Taiwan for refusing to properly license its technology
The Taiwan Fair Trade Commission has fined Qualcomm $774 million for abusing the monopoly it happens to have in the handset market where its chips are widely used in the manufacture of smartphones. With a commanding share of the market in CDMA, WCDMA (3G) and LTE chipsets, the Fair Trade Commission accused the chip maker of holding back on licensing its technology. The Taiwan FTC also is ordering Qualcomm to submit a report twice a year on its negotiations with other firms.

Qualcomm is the middle of similar lawsuits involving Apple and the U.S. FTC. Apple claims that Qualcomm refused to pay it $1 billion in rebates that it is owed because it spoke with law enforcement agencies investigating Qualcomm. Apple also claims that Qualcomm refuses to license its standard essential patents at a fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory manner. The U.S. FTC says that Qualcomm's deal to exclusively provide Apple with iPhone modems in return for lower royalty costs to Apple, is against the law in the U.S.

Qualcomm has already received an $854 million fine in South Korea, and a $975 million fine in China. When the dust settles on all of the ongoing legal action, the company could end up taking an even bigger hit to its wallet.

source: FTC (translated) via Engadget

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24 Comments

1. worldpeace

Posts: 3092; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

"Apple claims that Qualcomm refused to pay it $1 billion in rebates" "Apple also claims that Qualcomm refuses to license its standard essential patents" You make it looks like Qualcomm is the bad guy, and Apple is the good one, lol..

2. toukale

Posts: 605; Member since: Jun 10, 2015

In this s particular case it seems so. This is like the 3rd or 4th country that has fined them so far, it can’t be by accident.

5. hemedans

Posts: 746; Member since: Jun 01, 2013

i feel sorry for Qualcomm they are not big as Apple or Google, they depend on their own Technologies and IP, but still Authorities Force them to lower their licence fee, in future companies like Qualcomm, Nokia, Ericson etc will have low income and they will spend less in research, This will cause market to have more gimmicks and less innovations. Apple, Chinese companies and other leaders of current smartphone industry they are just leech, they want to use others technology and contribute nothing to new Technologies which will push forward this industry.

7. toukale

Posts: 605; Member since: Jun 10, 2015

What? You know it's a two way street. Qualcomm is abusing FRAND patents here. You need to educate yourself on how FRAND patents works. If the governing body did not except Qualcomm contributions, Qualcomm would have gotten zero dollars, nada. Instead they accepted their contributions and made it a standard (monopoly). Qualcomm in this case is using tactics to abuse that monopoly (FRAND).

9. hemedans

Posts: 746; Member since: Jun 01, 2013

I know about FRAND, but let see how this monopoly issue have been treated, -Apple is no monopoly even though they earn more than Anyone -Microsoft in mobile is no monopoly and they earn more than any Android oems except Samsung. Those companies with Few technology they can earn as much as they want from their technologies and no one will question them, but those with very important technologies earn less money. Good example is those microsoft patents, they are not that important, but because Frand dont Apply to them they earn $3B from them (last data i know), Qualcomm cant demand something like That.

10. toukale

Posts: 605; Member since: Jun 10, 2015

@hemedans - You said you understand how FRAND patents works and then went ahead and wrote something that proves you either don't understand or refuse to understand because it does not play well with your favorite companies. It's simple really, you are given a monopoly when you have FRAND, in return you agree to not abuse it. In this case the courts have found that Qualcomm is doing exactly that.

4. Cat97

Posts: 1728; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

Qualcomm actually is the bad guy.

13. MartyK

Posts: 1043; Member since: Apr 11, 2012

Are you saying, there is no more chip maker?

3. Cyberchum

Posts: 1011; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

When it rains, it pours.

6. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

Money-grabing crap of a fine.

8. fyah_king unregistered

When Qualcomm goes out of business. We will be using mediatek and Exynos.

11. uncle_gadget

Posts: 1050; Member since: Sep 20, 2017

If Qualcomm loses in the USA, I hope Qualcomm refuses to sell Apple anything at all. Every time Apple comes and tried to make a deal. Qualcomm can simply say, we can't come to terms on a deal, so NO! We won't sell you anything and let Apple go into the business of making their own stuff. So they can see how much it costs and then consumers will see how much it costs when their phones go up. Look how much Apple phones go up, not making their own stuff. Now imagine if they did? Yet Samsung makes its own stuff where possible and their stuff cost less and offers the latest in great technology. My issue here is Qualcomm has a right to charge what they feel is a fair price. The court doesn't make this stuff, so they have no idea what is a fair price. If Apple felt it wasn't a fair price, then you should have signed the deal. Intel makes modems too. Even if they aren't as good, they are another option. Apple wanted the best option and when something actually is the best and not just claiming to be the best like Apple does, then the best costs more money. That's why I am on Qualcomm's side. Apple charges unfair and ridiculous prices for their stuff. A 750p phone that cost more than a 1440p phone? Really? But nothing is done or said, because everyone says Apple has costs ans they can charge whatever they want. So shouldn't it apply to everyone equally? The market will choose what is too expensive, by not buying. So either the OEM will drop the price or they will eventually go out of business. That is how the market is suppose to work. Qualcomm doesn't have a monopoly. What they do have is, the very best option over anyone else. When you know this, you will charge more. Its my product. There are other options. You don't like my price, you can buy someone else's. DONE!

12. toukale

Posts: 605; Member since: Jun 10, 2015

Another emotional individual who refuses to educate themselves about FRAND patents and the string attached to them. Your whole argument makes no sense, it's all about your hatred for Apple instead of the actual situation. Any non bias and reasonable person can clearly see what's going on. It's the reason why so far courts all over the world have come to the same conclusions. Take off you blind hatred sun glasses off so you can see better, wake up.

14. MartyK

Posts: 1043; Member since: Apr 11, 2012

If you don't like the Price, why not buy from Samsung? I mean they make their own chips.

16. Ninetysix

Posts: 2933; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

But how good is the salsa?

17. toukale

Posts: 605; Member since: Jun 10, 2015

@MartyK - Do people actually understand what is going on? This has nothing to do with making own chips. Those are standard essential patents (FRAND). Meaning you can't avoid them if you want your stuff to play well with all the networks, it's the reason they are classified as (FRAND) patents. That was the conditions when they awarded Qualcomm those patents and accept Qualcomm contributions as part of the standard. Otherwise they would have rejected Qualcomm contributions and used a different method and Qualcomm patents would have been worth zero. All Qualcomm is doing is damaging their reputations and their future inputs when the next round of future networks standards are being decided. Everyone will remember how they abused their FRAND patents and the stardard body will be reluctant to accept their contributions.

18. MartyK

Posts: 1043; Member since: Apr 11, 2012

I understand it quite well, these companies want QC to invent and make their chips, than turn around and sell them at a price they like. Why don't they buy mediatek and Exynos chips and avoid dealing with QC? I mean others are making their own SOC.

20. toukale

Posts: 605; Member since: Jun 10, 2015

@MartyK - What? How old are you? maybe if I know I can adjust my expectation. You keep talking about chips and using mediatek/Exynos chips. This is not about chips but networking cellular (FRAND) patents, which by the way where Qualcomm makes 2/3 of their revenue from. I am wasting my time here because you obviously have no clue about this issue and are not interested in educating yourself about the matter. You only care about whether or not it's affecting your supported company in a positive.

23. xfire99

Posts: 1205; Member since: Mar 14, 2012

Lol, u have understand s**t. This is about patents QC owns and even turned to others chipmakers. All still need to pay license fee to QC. So stop with chip talking, dude.

15. MartyK

Posts: 1043; Member since: Apr 11, 2012

mediatek and Exynos is available for anyone who don't want to use Qualcomm

19. MartyK

Posts: 1043; Member since: Apr 11, 2012

Huawei’s HiKey 960 ,MediaTek working on Helio P35 processor, intel... All these companies can buy from these suppliers!

21. toukale

Posts: 605; Member since: Jun 10, 2015

Again with your chip argument, this is not about chips. When are you going to get off that point because it is wrong, and not what Qualcomm have been fined for all over the world. This is actually an opportunity for you to actually educate yourself, take it, and you will be better for it.

24. MartyK

Posts: 1043; Member since: Apr 11, 2012

Oh tell me wise one, in detail.. Since you have access to the court filing.. Fair and reasonable is a subjective idea.. It all depends on who pay the most money for the person or county in charge of the decision on what is fair and reasonable.

22. xfire99

Posts: 1205; Member since: Mar 14, 2012

All the giants have been fined for Millions/billions, Intel, Microsoft, Google, Qualcomm, Facebook. Next could be Apples turn for 13B Euros ($15.3 billion) in unpaid taxes. But its Ireland EU is suing to get to Apples $$$! Also Amazon for 250 million euros ($294 million). https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-04/eu-sues-ireland-over-apple-billions-as-tax-tensions-flare-up

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