South Korea’s Supreme Court sent a penalty decision against Qualcomm for reconsideration, due to the way in which the market share of one of its smartphone customers was interpreted, Yonhap News Agency reported.
The chipmaker was fined KRW273.2 billion ($243 million) by the country’s Fair Trade Commission (FTC) in 2009, due to subsidies paid to Samsung and LG Electronics on condition that only Qualcomm silicon was used in some device models.
A previous review saw the Seoul High Court supporting the FTC in 2013, by arguing that the deals effectively forced the device makers to refrain from exploring other deals. Some incentives paid only to LG were also deemed unlawful, as they undermined fair completion.
However, the Supreme Court has now ruled that because LG’s market share during the 2006-2008 period was below 40 per cent, it did not count as a majority player, thus limiting the impact of Qualcomm’s actions on the market.
Yonhap News Agency noted that this is not the only case Qualcomm is engaged in with the Korean regulators. It is also involved in a separate – and bigger – suit related to a 2016 fine covering chip supply and patent licensing.