Qualcomm Fined $854 Million by South Korean Regulator for Violating Competition Laws

Qualcomm Fined $854 Million by South Korean Regulator for Violating Competition Laws

South Korea’s antitrust regulator said on Wednesday it fined US chipmaker Qualcomm Inc KRW 1.03 trillion ($854 million or roughly Rs. 5,821 crores), a record for the country, ruling its business practices of patent licensing and smartphone modem chip sales hindered competition.

The Korea Fair Trade Commission said Qualcomm abused its dominant market position and forced handset makers to pay royalties for an unnecessarily broad set of patents as part of sales of its modem chips.

The US firm also hindered competition by refusing or limiting licensing of its standard essential patents for modem chips to rival chipmakers, the regulator said.

Qualcomm in February 2015 agreed to pay a $975 million fine in China following an antitrust probe, while the European Union in late 2015 charged the firm with anti-competitive behaviour. Regulators in other jurisdictions, including the United States and Taiwan, are also investigating the chipmaker.
© Thomson Reuters 2016

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