South Korea's antitrust regulator fines Qualcomm $850M+ over patent licensing practices

South Korea's antitrust regulator fines Qualcomm $850M+ over patent licensing practices

However, once Qualcomm receives the order in writing, it will be required paying up the fine within 60 days even if the matter is in a court of law at that time.

We reported about the possibility yesterday that Qualcomm could be fined more than 0 million in South Korea for antitrust violations. Last year, Qualcomm settled similar charges with China's antitrust regulator, agreeing to pay $975 million in that case. The company similarly appealed a 273 billion won ($225 million at the current exchange rate) that it had received in 2009.

Don Rosenberg, general counsel at Qualcomm said the company strongly believes that the KFTC findings are "inconsistent with the facts, disregard the economic realities of the marketplace, and misapply fundamental tenets of competition law". It charged Qualcomm unfairly used its patents against both customers and competitors.

Qualcomm displays some of its patents on a wall in its headquarters in San Diego, California.

As ZDNet reports, the KFTC had already internally decided that Qualcomm's patent licensing terms were an abuse of Standards Essential Patents (SEPs) and in violation of Fair, Reasonable, and Nondiscriminatory (FRAND) terms. They also ordered to cease the rebates to handset makers who buy products from Qualcomm.

Vanessa & Nick Lachey Welcome A Baby Boy, Making The Holidays Very Merry
The little one joins sister Brooklyn Elisabeth, almost two, and brother Camden John , who is now four. Vanessa and Nick Lachey got an early Christmas present this year: Baby No. 3.

The investment recommendation for Qualcomm has been removed after the company agreed to acquire NXP Semiconductors NV (NASDAQ: NXPI), Garcha noted.

The KFTC began its investigations into Qualcomm's practices in 2014 following complaints from unnamed companies.

In response, Qualcomm issued a statement calling the fine "an unprecedented and insupportable decision, relating to licensing practices that have been in existence in Korea and worldwide for decades".

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. It lost in a lower court and asked the Korea Supreme Court to hear the case. In order to receive chip sets from Qualcomm that are essential in mobile device manufacturing, companies inevitably provided the US company with their own patents that have been developed with massive amount of investments.

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