Qualcomm to appeal fine imposed by FTC

UNFAIR COMPETITION::Qualcomm Inc said it would file a lawsuit with a court in Taiwan against the Fair Trade Commision’s decision to slap it with a hefty fine

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff Reporter

Fri, Oct 13, 2017 - Page 12

Qualcomm Inc yesterday said it disagrees with the Fair Trade Commission’s (FTC) decision to fine it NT$23.4 billion (US$774.5 million) for an alleged violation of competition law and that it would appeal the decision to Taiwanese courts.

The US company said it would also seek to postpone the implementation of the commission’s decision.

“The fine bears no rational relationship to the amount of Qualcomm’s revenues or activities in Taiwan, and Qualcomm will appeal the amount of the fine and the method used to calculate it,” Qualcomm said in a statement.

The commission on Wednesday ruled that the US chipmaker has violated the nation’s competition law by manipulating its dominant position in the mobile baseband sector and thwarting other players’ participation in the market.

The commission also said Qualcomm has signed unfair contracts with local mobile phone vendors and contract manufacturers by bundling chip supply contracts with patent licensing agreements.

Qualcomm said it plans to appeal to local courts after receiving formal notification from the commission, which might come in several weeks.

Qualcomm is eligible to file a lawsuit with the Taipei High Administrative Court against the decision within two months of receiving their formal notification.

“The fine is reasonable, given the severe damage caused by the company during a seven-year period,” FTC spokesman Perng Shaw-jiin (彭紹瑾) said by telephone yesterday.

MediaTek Inc (聯發科), Qualcomm’s local rival, yesterday said it supports the commission’s action.

“The move is helpful in shaping a fair, rational and competitive market,” MediaTek said in a Taiwan Stock Exchange filing. “It is also in line with the global trend and meets international standards.”

MediaTek also backs the commission’s decision, which requests Qualcomm to notify its rivals to renegotiate or revise patent licensing agreements within 30 days after receiving notification of a decision by the commission.