BlackBerry wins $815 million in overpaid royalty to Qualcomm


BlackBerry said Wednesday it has been awarded US$815 million in an arbitration decision for excess royalties it had paid to chip company Qualcomm.

Qualcomm and BlackBerry had entered into an agreement in April last year to arbitrate a dispute over whether Qualcomm’s agreement to cap certain royalties applied to payments made by BlackBerry under a license agreement between the two companies.

Qualcomm has faced charges of excessive royalty rates by regulators as well as other companies. Apple filed a lawsuit in January in a U.S. federal court in California against Qualcomm, objecting, among other things, to the chip company charging a royalty on the selling price of phones rather than on the value of the specific baseband chipset supplied for the iPhone.

The chip company has also run afoul of regulators. It was fined in December by South Korea’s antitrust regulator for violating antitrust laws. By January, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission accused it in a lawsuit of forcing phone makers into accepting unfair licensing terms while giving Apple a break in exchange for exclusivity.

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