Qualcomm faces nearly $1B fine in China over patent licensing

Did someone at Qualcomm break a mirror? Accidentally splash a vengeful fortune-teller with their car and are now suffering the fallout of a hex? Because despite finding its chips in some of the hottest mobile devices around, the company seems to be having some very public bad luck as of late. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 SoC is still mired in bad PR over reports of overheating (despite recent efforts to convince us the whole issue is overblown), and today we learn of a massive fine China just handed to the company over allegations of antitrust violations.

More than just paying for chips themselves, OEMs using Qualcomm tech have to pay licensing fees for products that take advantage of Qualcomm’s patent holdings – primarily those that allow phones to communicate over modern 3G and 4G networks. Regulators in China took issue with these royalty payments, and have hit Qualcomm with a massive $975 million fine.

Qualcomm won’t contest China’s ruling on its violation of the country’s antitrust laws, and while it’s obviously disappointed with the outcome, the company claims that the huge fine won’t ultimately have a big impact on its earnings – to the contrary, it’s even expecting to bring in more profit than it recently thought.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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About The Author
Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bits Read more about Stephen Schenck!