By Yimou Lee and Stephen Nellis
Mobile chipmaker Qualcomm — which is building a significant presence at a new support office at Mahon in Cork — will settle an anti-trust case with Taiwanese regulators for about €80m, and has also pledged to invest €605m in Taiwan over the next five years.
The settlement replaces a fine of roughly €672m imposed by Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission in 2017, when it accused the US firm of refusing to sell chips to mobile handset makers that wouldn’t agree to its patent-licensing terms.
It was also accused of cutting iPhone maker Apple a royalty discount in exchange for the exclusive use of Qualcomm’s modem chips in the past.
Moreover, Qualcomm will be required to offer patent licenses to rival chipmakers such as Intel and MediaTek on fair terms before seeking to enforce its patent rights against them in court.
Qualcomm also is in the midst of appealing a €800m fine from the Korea Fair Trade Commission and a €1bn fine from the EU.
It also faces a lawsuit from the US Federal Trade Commission and is in a wide-ranging legal dispute with Apple. As part of the Taiwanese settlement, Qualcomm will continue to be allowed to charge a royalty based on the selling price of a handset — a core part of its licensing model that Apple and others have objected to.
Qualcomm said it had agreed to build new manufacturing and operations facilities in Taiwan.
Reuters. Additional reporting Irish Examiner