S Korean an­titrust reg­u­la­tor fines Qual­comm $865 mil­lion

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

South Korea’s an­titrust reg­u­la­tor slapped a 1.03 tril­lion won ($865 mil­lion) fine on Qual­comm Inc. yes­ter­day for al­legedly vi­o­lat­ing com­pe­ti­tion laws.

The Fair Trade Com­mis­sion said that the San Diego, Cal­i­for­nia-based com­pany had en­gaged in un­fair busi­ness prac­tices in patent li­cens­ing and chip sales, in­clud­ing re­fus­ing to let ri­val chip­mak­ers li­cense patents es­sen­tial for chip mak­ing.

The FTC said Qual­comm al­legedly used its dom­i­nant po­si­tion in the mo­dem chip mar­ket to force hand­set mak­ers to pay li­cense fees for a broad set of patents un­der terms it set uni­lat­er­ally and to co­erce hand­set mak­ers into sign­ing li­cens­ing con­tracts.

The fine, the big­gest ever levied by the an­titrust reg­u­la­tor, “will re­store fair com­pe­ti­tion in the mo­bile com­mu­ni­ca­tions in­dus­try,” Shin Young-sun, sec­re­tary gen­eral at the Fair Trade Com­mis­sion, told re­porters at a brief­ing. Qual­comm re­jected the rul­ing, say­ing it plans to ap­peal it in court. Qual­comm made $25.1 bil­lion in 2015 from col­lect­ing patent roy­al­ties and sell­ing mo­dem chips. South Korea, home to the world’s largest smart­phone maker Sam­sung Elec­tron­ics, ac­counts for about 20 per­cent of its global rev­enue.

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