This summer we told you about an investigation by the Fair Trade Comission in South Korea involving Qualcomm and unfair business practices. Reuters now reports that we have a final verdict - the company will be fined 1.03 trillion won (approx. $854 million). The decision will be challenged in court, the chip maker said later.
This is the largest fine ever issued by the Korean FTC (KFTC). They say Qualcomm abused its dominant market position and forced phone makers to pay unnecessarily high costs for patents as part of their deal to provide chipsets. The regulator added more:
The accusation also includes restricting competition by limiting licensing of its standard essential patents to rivals such as Intel, Samsung Electronics and MediaTek.
KFTC ordered Qualcomm to renegotiate with rivals on patents and supply agreements. This means that the chip maker will have to resign its deals with Apple, Samsung and Huawei.
Investigations began back in 2014 when anonymous complaints were filed. Secretary General of KFTC Shin Young-son said this has nothing to do with protection of domestic companies such as Samsung and LG. We tend to believe him because this isn’t the first case of unfair business practices for Qualcomm. The company faced fines in China and EU as well and is currently being investigated for the same issue in Taiwan and United States.