Wednesday December 28, 2016

South Korea Fines Qualcomm $854M For Violating Competition Laws

South Korea just slapped Qualcomm with a $854 million fine, the largest fine ever levied in that country, for abusing its dominant market position. According to the Korea Fair Trade Commission, Qualcomm has been forcing handset makers to pay royalties for an unnecessarily broad set of patents as part of sales of its modem chips.

South Korea's antitrust regulator fined Qualcomm Inc 1.03 trillion won ($854 million) for what it called unfair business practices in patent licensing and modem chip sales, a decision the U.S. chipmaker said it will challenge in court. The fine, the largest ever levied in South Korea, marks the latest antitrust setback for Qualcomm's most profitable business of licensing wireless patents to the mobile industry, at a time when the business is facing headwinds from a cooling smartphone market.