South Korean Watchdog cuts Qualcomm fine after decade-long legal battle


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South Korean Watchdog cuts Qualcomm fine after decade-long legal battle

On Thursday, the 21st of March 2019, the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) had issued a statement saying that the South Korean antitrust regulator had decided to deduce a decade-old financial penalty inclined on US Chipmaker Qualcomm Inc.

by 18 percent to $200 million. A deduction on the financial penalty came forth, after the South Korean Supreme Court overruled a bunch of lower court hearings against US chipmaker Qualcomm, accusing them of abusing their market dominance.

Origin of the issue dated back to 2009, when KFTC had fined Qualcomm 273 billion won ($242.6 million), over the allegation of alleged abuse of market dominance in radio frequency and CDMA chips, which were then being used on handsets manufactured by South Korean smartphone maker LG Electronics and Samsung Co.

Ltd. At a separate case later on 2019, South Korean regulators had again fined Qualcomm $854 million for unfair business practices on patent licensing and modem chip sales. On Thursday (March 21st), the South Korean financial watchdog had reset the scale of financial penalty to reflect Supreme Court’s ruling, saying that “a monopolist enterprise’s abuse of its market position cannot be tolerated”.

Never the less, Qualcomm Inc., the US semiconductor and telecommunication equipment maker, headquartered in San Diego, had been facing a cascade of antitrust probe and rulings worldwide.