South Korea upholds massive Qualcomm fine - Mobile World Live

South Korea upholds massive Qualcomm fine

13 APR 2023
A sunset over Han River, Seoul, with a bridge spanning open water in the foreground and a cityscape lit by streetlights in the background.

South Korea’s Supreme Court dismissed the latest legal action contesting a KRW1 trillion ($763 million) fine levied by the country’s Fair Trade Commission on Qualcomm and its subsidiaries for unfair business practices.

In a short statement, the court announced the dismissal of appeals brought by Qualcomm to have the judgement against it nulled and related fine cancelled. It backed an earlier decision made by a lower court.

The legal scrap between Qualcomm and the Korea Fair Trade Commission (FTC) has been ongoing since 2016 when the FTC slapped the then record fine on the chipmaker for alleged abuses of its dominant market position.

It claimed the company was engaging in unfair business practices by linking modem sales to patent licencing deals. Other accusations included apparent issues experienced by rival companies when trying to use standard essential patents necessary for the manufacture of products.

Qualcomm has regularly contested the validity of the claims.

When the original decision was made in 2016, the vendor described the decision as an “unprecedented and insupportable decision relating to licensing practices that have been in existence in Korea and worldwide for decades”.



Chris Donkin

Chris joined the Mobile World Live team in November 2016 having previously worked at a number of UK media outlets including Trinity Mirror, The Press Association and UK telecoms publication Mobile News. After spending 10 years in journalism, he moved...

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