Qualcomm Inc. was slapped with a multimillion dollar fine for having violated antitrust laws in South Korea.
(CCM) — On Wednesday, Qualcomm Inc. was fined $854 million after a South Korean court found the company guilty of violating the country's business competition regulations, Reuters reports. The fine is the largest ever handed down in South Korea's history, a punishment that was decided on by the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC). According to Reuters, the American chip-making company is accused of exploiting its influence to force handset makers to pay royalties for an "unnecessarily broad" set of patents; the Commission also claimed that the company unfairly restricted its competitors from accessing standard, necessary patents. In addition to the fine, Qualcomm was ordered to re-negotiate arrangements with handset makers and rival chip-makers.
"We investigated and decided on these actions because Qualcomm's actions limit overall competition," KFTC Secretary General Shin Young-son said in a media briefing. Qualcomm has already expressed a desire to fight back against the ruling in court, contesting both the fine amount and the KFTC's method for arriving at the decision. If upheld, the ruling could mean cheaper costs for handset makers who rely on Qualcomm's chips for their devices.
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