Qualcomm hammered by Taiwan FTC for $773 million for wireless technology antitrust violati...

Posted:
in General Discussion edited October 2017
The Taiwan courts have handed down a $773 million fine, finding Qualcomm guilty of anti-trust and monopolistic tactics in how it sells its chips to manufacturers -- the same thing that Apple is accusing it of doing.




According to an account published by Bloomberg, Taiwan's Fair Trade Commission declared its ruling on Wednesday, saying that the country's antitrust rules have been violated by Qualcomm for the last seven years. Over that time, Qualcomm collected $13.2 billion from local companies.

"Qualcomm holds big number of standard essential patents in CDMA, WCDMA and LTE segments and is the dominant provider of CDMA, WCDMA and LTE baseband chips," wrote the Taiwan Fair Trade Commission. "It abused its advantage in mobile communication standards, refused to license necessary patents."

Above and beyond the financial penalty, Qualcomm must remove terms from previous deals requiring licensees to provide customer names, model names, shipment quantities, and pricing back to the chip supplier.

It is not clear what effect that the ruling Apple's myriad fronts of battle with Qualcomm over the very same issue.

The lawsuit that started the battle between Apple and Qualcomm over broadband chip licensing was filed in January, with Apple accusing Qualcomm of unfair terms. Apple claims that Qualcomm withheld nearly $1 billion in rebates in retaliation for participating in a South Korean antitrust investigation.

Apple alleges Qualcomm abuses its "monopoly power" of the mobile wireless chip market to skirt fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory (FRAND) patent commitments to charge customers exorbitant royalty rates. Qualcomm also restricts sales of chips to buyers who have agreed to license its SEPs, a practice Apple refers to as "double-dipping."

Those accusations mirror certain claims addressed in a U.S. Federal Trade Commission antitrust lawsuit also lodged in January.

In April, Qualcomm revealed contract manufacturers using Qualcomm technologies to Apple product components were withholding royalty payments at Apple's behest.

Qualcomm denies all of Apple's assertions and claims that Apple is interfering with its contract manufacturers. Qualcomm initially outlined its case in a countersuit also in April.

In its counter-complaints, Qualcomm has declared that Apple is in breach of contract because it is not paying the fees and has ordered its manufacturing partners to not pay as well. Qualcomm asserts that Apple has not suffered tangible injury, antitrust or otherwise, from Qualcomm's business practices.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    Hits are just keep coming, aren't they?
    "Karma" will catch up with you eventually, no matter what you think.
    It is what you do/don't do is what determines the type of "karma response" that will come your way in time.
    edited October 2017 patchythepirate
  • Reply 2 of 16
    Qualcomm is toast.
    jbdragonmagman1979
  • Reply 3 of 16
    Qualcomm vs. The World

    Qualcomm is buying NXP Semi because they know their licensing revenue is going to take a hit.

    I guess their old ‘greed is good’ mentality is no longer working...

    Maybe they’ll get back to being an innovator, than being a patent (IP) troll.

  • Reply 4 of 16
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,004member
    Qualcomm is toast.
    They need to lawyer up more... if they can afford it now.
  • Reply 5 of 16
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 3,622member
    Ouch!

    That’s gonna leave a scar. 
  • Reply 6 of 16
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,101member
    Ever time QCOM loses it make Apple case all that easier. When Governments win their case the civil case just fall in place.
    patchythepirateadm1
  • Reply 7 of 16
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,098member
    QCOM is scum, but to demand that licensees provide information on THEIR customers back to QCOM is going below the belt.  

    I really hope Apple doesn't settle out of court when the time comes, but that they go all the way and drop the biggest hammer on QCOM's head.  These assholes are the new Microsoft from the 90's.

    tmaypatchythepiratemagman1979
  • Reply 8 of 16
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,573member
    FRAND and patent exhaustion are pretty much settled case law.  I suppose Qualcomm just looked at the accounting and figured that even after paying off fines and penalties for the last few years' violations, they're still ahead.  They knew they had to stop with the extortion someday, might as well make the most of it while the sun shines.
  • Reply 9 of 16
    I don't get it. With the seeming unending stream of bad news about Qualcomm, how is their stock still going up?
  • Reply 10 of 16
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,249member
    Samsung should buy Qualcomm.   It would put them in control of Android and effectively make Google grovel in their knees.
  • Reply 11 of 16
    I don't get it. With the seeming unending stream of bad news about Qualcomm, how is their stock still going up?
    Perhaps there is greater certainty as to the direction of active court cases, which would make their stock look undervalued?
  • Reply 12 of 16
    k2kw said:
    Samsung should buy Qualcomm.   It would put them in control of Android and effectively make Google grovel in their knees.
    And it would not be that hard to do. Corporate culture is very similar in both companies, so Qualcomm employees won't even notice the change.

    adm1
  • Reply 13 of 16
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 462member
    tundraboy said:
    FRAND and patent exhaustion are pretty much settled case law.  I suppose Qualcomm just looked at the accounting and figured that even after paying off fines and penalties for the last few years' violations, they're still ahead.  They knew they had to stop with the extortion someday, might as well make the most of it while the sun shines.
    Except if they get hit with similar lawsuits in multiple countries and some of those countries attach punitive damages on top of their judgements...
  • Reply 14 of 16
    larryalarrya Posts: 489member
    k2kw said:
    Samsung should buy Qualcomm.   It would put them in control of Android and effectively make Google grovel in their knees.
    Yes, I agree.  I would be pushing for this if I weren't in the Apple camp.
  • Reply 15 of 16
    Qualcomm's business model is based on extortion and is failing. Samsung is one of the companies leading the charge against QCOM. It is why QCOM was fined over 800 million by the Korean FTC. 

    There is nothing that QCOM has that is of value to Samsung save the CDMA patents. Samsung actually manufactures a better SOC with modem than QCOM. In the case of wearables, the Samsung chip in their smartwatch substantially outperforms the Snapdragon 2100 going into the Android wear watches. 

    It would be far less expensive for Samsung to wring better licensing terms from QCOM as opposed to the expense of buying out the company. 

    From the way things are going, better licensing terms are coming rapidly. 

    Google is going to be displaced from controlling a smartphone OS anyhow. Samsung is literally going to steamroll the rest of the Android hardware manufacturers. It includes the Google Pixel line of phones also. 

    Besides buying out Qualcomm won't stop Google from procuring CPUs from Huawei or Mediatek. 

    Samsung doesn't need to buy out QCOM to put any pressure on Google. They make the best flash memory chips, the best panels and the best mobile chips outside of Apple. The whole thing is, Tizen is better than Android. When the world figures out what the Indians, Bangladeshis and Gear S3 owners already know, Android will be rapidly displaced. 
  • Reply 16 of 16
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 18,607member
    Qualcomm's business model is based on extortion and is failing. Samsung is one of the companies leading the charge against QCOM. It is why QCOM was fined over 800 million by the Korean FTC. 

    There is nothing that QCOM has that is of value to Samsung save the CDMA patents. Samsung actually manufactures a better SOC with modem than QCOM. In the case of wearables, the Samsung chip in their smartwatch substantially outperforms the Snapdragon 2100 going into the Android wear watches. 

    It would be far less expensive for Samsung to wring better licensing terms from QCOM as opposed to the expense of buying out the company. 

    From the way things are going, better licensing terms are coming rapidly. 

    Google is going to be displaced from controlling a smartphone OS anyhow. Samsung is literally going to steamroll the rest of the Android hardware manufacturers. It includes the Google Pixel line of phones also. 

    Besides buying out Qualcomm won't stop Google from procuring CPUs from Huawei or Mediatek. 

    Samsung doesn't need to buy out QCOM to put any pressure on Google. They make the best flash memory chips, the best panels and the best mobile chips outside of Apple. The whole thing is, Tizen is better than Android. When the world figures out what the Indians, Bangladeshis and Gear S3 owners already know, Android will be rapidly displaced. 
    It's always about Google, isn't it? They're Doomed and Samsung is the new Apple. :/
    edited October 2017
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