Qualcomm, the company behind the Snapdragon processor found in most popular Android phones, is being fined more that $850 million in South Korea over alleged antitrust violations. According to Reuters, the company plans to fight the decision.
South Korea’s antitrust regulator announced the fine this evening, saying that Qualcomm’s business practices of patent licensing and smartphone chip sales hindered competition. The Fair Trade Commission explained that the company “abused its dominant market position” and forced handset makers to pay unrealistic royalties for its chips:
The Korea Fair Trade Commission said Qualcomm abused its dominant market position and forced handset makers to pay royalties for an unnecessarily broad set of patents as part of sales of its modem chips.
The U.S. firm also hindered competition by refusing or limiting licensing of its standard essential patents for modem chips to rival chipmakers, the regulator said.
Qualcomm faced similar antitrust violations in China in 2015, paying a $975 million fine following a probe. The European Union also charged the company with anticompetitive behavior a year ago. Investigations are also ongoing in the United States and Taiwan over antitrust violations.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Qualcomm plans to fight the decision from South Korea, but it’s unclear how successful the company will be with that fight. As of right now, Qualcomm is on the hook $854 million in South Korea and potentially more depending on how the United States and Taiwan investigations end up.
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