© tom_schmucker dreamstime.com Business | December 28, 2016
South Korea fines US chipmaker for violating competition laws
The Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) has fined Qualcomm KRW 1.03 trillion (approximately USD 865 million) for what it calls “abuse of market dominance”.
The South Korean antitrust regulator states that while Qualcomm holds standard essential patents ("SEPs") for which it has made FRAND commitments to global SSOs such as ITU and ETSI in regards to cellular communication standard technologies such as CDMA, WCDMA and LTE, the company is at the same time a vertically integrated monopolistic enterprise that manufactures and sells modem chipsets. KFTC claims that in violation of the FRAND commitment, Qualcomm engaged in among other acts:
- Refused to license, or imposed restrictions on the license for, the cellular SEPs that are necessary for the manufacture and sale of chipsets.
- Coerced the execution and performance of unfair license agreements by using its chipset supply as leverage, while circumventing FRAND commitment.
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