Qualcomm reaches $93M antitrust settlement in Taiwan

Contributing to local economic development, such as 5G deployment, is also part of the deal.

Marrian Zhou Staff Reporter
Marrian Zhou is a Beijing-born Californian living in New York City. She joined CNET as a staff reporter upon graduation from Columbia Journalism School. When Marrian is not reporting, she is probably binge watching, playing saxophone or eating hot pot.
Marrian Zhou
Qualcomm headquarters

Qualcomm appealed an original $773 million fine.

Tania González/CNET

Qualcomm has settled an antitrust case in Taiwan over the chipmaker's alleged violation of fair trade rules.

Taiwan's Fair Trade Commission slapped Qualcomm with a $773 million antitrust fine in October 2017 over monopolizing patents for mobile phone tech. The company allegedly violated local laws by refusing to license that tech to companies that wouldn't play by its pricing rules. Qualcomm disagreed with the decision and filed litigation to appeal it.

As part of the settlement announced Thursday,  Qualcomm  must provide reports to Taiwanese regulators over the next five years that show it's practicing good faith and fairness in patent-licensing negotiations with handset makers, Reuters reported Thursday.

The chipmaker has already paid roughly $93 million (NTD 2.73 billion) toward the fine. As part of the settlement, no more money will be due. Instead, Qualcomm will "drive certain commercial initiatives in Taiwan" over the next five years, including ones related to 5G, new markets, startups and universities, according to a statement from the company. Qualcomm also closed its legal case.

"We are happy to reaffirm our commitment to licensing our valuable intellectual property under principles of fairness and good faith," Alex Rogers, president of Qualcomm Technology Licensing, said in a statement. "With the uncertainty removed, we can now focus on expanding our relationships that support the Taiwanese wireless industry and rapid adoption of 5G technology."

Qualcomm had no further comment. Taiwan's Fair Trade Commission didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.