The Taiwanese Fair Trade Commission has fined Qualcomm NT$23.4 billion ($773 million) for antitrust violations. This is one other major defeat for the chipmaker that’s currently embroiled in a complicated legal battle against Apple and other tech firms. And local regulators keep hitting Qualcomm with fines, seemingly siding with Apple.
Whatever Qualcomm says about Apple’s actions, these fines will undoubtedly hinder its defense. Qualcomm’s bottom line and the stock could also take serious hits.
According to Bloomberg, the Taiwanese regulator said that Qualcomm has been violating antitrust rules for at least seven years, during which time the company collected NT$400 billion ($13.23 billion) from local businesses.
The regulator said Qualcomm abused its position by not providing products to clients who don’t agree with its conditions. The Taiwanese FTC also told Qualcomm to remove the deals that forced local competitors to provide price, customer names, shipment, model name, and other sensitive information, and other clauses in its agreements.
What’s worst for Qualcomm is that the regulator confirms merely what other similar bodies found.
The South Korean antitrust body fined Qualcomm $207 million in 2014 for unfair business practices. In late December 2016, the regulator announced a $854 million fine against Qualcomm, the largest ever in the country/ In March 2017, South Korea also discovered that Qualcomm stopped Samsung from selling their chips to other handset makers.
The Chinese antitrust regulator fined Qualcomm $975 million in 2015, saying that Qualcomm abused its market position.
The European Union opened two antitrust investigations into Qualcomm’s business in 2015, while the US FTC opened its own investigation into Qualcomm early this year. Apple sued soon after that — read more about this massive Apple (and everyone else) vs. Qualcomm conflict at this link.