Taiwan is the latest in a series of geographical regions to have pursued Qualcomm in the last few years. Chine begin an investigation in 2013 and Qualcomm eventually paid a $975 million fine to the Beijing authorities and agreed to reduce by a third its royalty rates there (see China deal squeezes royalty cuts from Qualcomm).
South Korea and Europe are also pursuing Qualcomm now joined by Taiwan. Rumors that Qualcomm’s royalty rates were expensive and even unfair have circulated for years but Qualcomm, as a the pioneer of code division multiple access (CMDA) wireless communications has long held essential patents relevant to 3G and 4G cellular communications.
Fabless Qualcomm has used TSMC as its main foundry for many years but around the time it was settling with the Chinese authorities it agreed to move to some of its mainstream 28nm CMOS chip manufacturing to Chinese foundry SMIC.
Qualcomm said in a statement that the fair trade investigation by Taiwan is in its early stages, that it complies with the Fair Trade Act and will cooperate with the TFTC’s investigation.
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