Published: Thu, April 13, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

BlackBerry wins $815 million in dispute with Qualcomm

The final award, including interest and attorney fees, will be announced after a May 30 hearing.

The royalties were computed on devices sold by BlackBerry between 2010-2015; the only question that the arbitration panel had to deal with, was whether BlackBerry's non-refundable royalty payments were covered by Qualcomm's royalty cap program.

In a statement, Qualcomm said it disagrees.

On Wednesday (April 12), shares of BlackBerry climbed 15.19 percent on the NASDAQ to reach $8.85, while its shares soared 14.90 percent on the Toronto Stock Exchange to $11.80. Year-to-date, QCOM has declined -15.07%, versus a 5.47% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.

In a press release, Qualcomm said it "does not agree with the decision", but that it is binding and not appealable.

BlackBerry and Qualcomm had both previously decided that they would solve the matter through arbitration rather than take the case to trial which would have no doubt been a costly affair for both companies.

Qualcomm had earlier described BlackBerry's claims for "return of the alleged overpayment" as without merit.

Blackberry, once a smartphone darling, has had well documented struggles in recent years as it battles to keep up in a rapidly evolving and growing mobile landscape.

Apple's complaint argued that Qualcomm abused its market power to demand unfair royalties, echoing charges by USA antitrust regulators and authorities around the world.

With BlackBerry planning to invest for growth in its software businesses, the arbitration award will strengthen the company's balance sheet and increase the likelihood of acquisitions, Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Walkley wrote in a note. Shares in Qualcomm, which is in litigation with Apple, fell 1.1% after dropping below its 50-day line on Tuesday. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

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