Qualcomm ordered to refund BlackBerry $814.9m
Qualcomm ordered to refund BlackBerry $814.9mReuters/Regis Duvignau

Qualcomm on Wednesday (12 March) said it has been ordered by a panel to refund $814.9m (£650.6m) plus interest and lawyers' fees to BlackBerry in an arbitration related to royalties for certain past sales of subscriber units.

Both the companies entered into a deal last April to arbitrate a dispute whether Qualcomm's agreement to cap royalties applied to payments made by BlackBerry under a license deal.

The chip maker said it did not agree with the decision but the payment is "binding and not appealable."

BlackBerry said the final award will be issued after a hearing on 30 May.

"BlackBerry and Qualcomm have a longstanding relationship and continue to be valued technology partners. We are pleased the arbitration panel ruled in our favour and look forward to collaborating with Qualcomm in security for ASICs and solutions for the automotive industry," said John Chen, executive chairman and CEO of BlackBerry said.

As Blackberry is planning to invest in its software businesses, the arbitration award will help the company's balance sheet and increase the likelihood of acquisitions, Michael Walkley, analysts at Canaccord Genuity, told Reuters.

Qualcomm is already in a legal battle with Apple over licensing fees for mobile technology. Apple has accused the company of overcharging for chips and declining to pay $1bn in promised rebates.

However, the company responded to the iPhone makers' lawsuit by filing a countersuit at the US District Court for the Southern District of California where it accused Apple of breaching and mischaracterising agreements and negotiations.

Apple has even encouraged regulatory attacks against Qualcomm around the globe, the chipmaker claims.

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has accused Qualcomm over anticompetitive tactics to maintain monopoly over semiconductors used in mobile phones.