Qualcomm have been issued with a substantial fine by the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC), following a three-year anti-trust investigation. The South Korean regulator issued the fine after ruling against methods used by Qualcomm to license its patents.
The fine issued by the KFTC totals $865 million (€824.4 m/£705.6 m), after the body concluded that Qualcomm had acted to prevent some companies acquiring patent licences, while placing unfair terms on other.
Having been accused of abusing its market position by the KFTC, Qualcomm is coming under mounting pressure as its licensing practices are placed under increasingly-close scrutiny. The European Union also has an ongoing anti-trust investigation into Qualcomm, looking into how the semi-conductor company licenses its patents.
In 2015 Qualcomm was fined $975 million (€927.2 m/£794.9 m) after an anti-trust enquiry in China.
Following the ruling in South Korea, Qualcomm has issued a defence, stating that it believes the KFTC’s decision “is inconsistent with the facts and the law, reflects a flawed process and represents a violation of due process rights owed American companies under the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (KORUS)”.