Qualcomm facing antitrust probe in Korea

Dylan Bushell-Embling
13 Feb 2015

Fresh from being slapped with a nearly $1 billion fine in China, chipmaker Qualcomm is facing another antitrust investigation, this time in South Korea.

Korea's Fair Trade Commission is considering launching a probe into whether Qualcomm is abusing its dominant market position, Yonhap Newsreported.

The company may be placed under investigation to determine whether it is breaching South Korea's competition act by demanding high fees for essential smartphone patents.

An FTC official told the paper that if a probe is started, the process could be a drawn out affair that could take two to three years.

The FTC fined Qualcomm 273.2 billion won in 2009 for allegedly abusing its market position. In February, the agency pledged to take aim at global tech companies that may be disrupting fair competition in local market.

Qualcomm holds numerous standards-essential 3G and 4G patents, particularly regarding the CDMA standard.

News of the possible investigation comes days after China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) fined Qualcomm 6.09 billion yuan ($975.6 million) following its own anti-monopoly investigation. Qualcomm has stated that it does not plan to appeal the fine.

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