Settlement Approaches For China’s Antitrust Case Against Qualcomm

The Chinese government announced on Friday that its antitrust investigation of Qualcomm Inc. will soon be settled. This news comes courtesy of an online statement from the country’s anti-monopoly regulator, The National Development and Reform Commission, which said that the investigation would be settled lawfully.

The NDRC launched a probe of the US mobile chipmaker 13 months ago when the regulator said that Qualcomm was suspected of abusing and overcharging its market in wireless communication standards. In August, the NDRC said that Qualcomm expressed its willingness to correct the pricing issues. Then, in December, the regulator claimed that it possessed evidence of “substantial” price fixing.

Image Credit: Qualcomm

If found guilty by the regulator, the case could cost Qualcomm fines that might exceed $1 billion and also require concessions that would cut into its business of charging license fees on phone chipsets that use the company’s patent. Unfortunately, things might not be going too well for the company as Qualcomm executive chairman Paul Jacobs said that the company was having “difficult discussions” in order to find a “win-win” solution with the NDRC.

Qualcomm is one of at least 30 foreign firms that are being scrutinized under China’s 2008 anti-monopoly law.