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Supreme Court upholds fine against Qualcomm

Nov 29,2017
Korea’s highest court has rejected Qualcomm’s call to suspend corrective measures taken by Korea’s antitrust watchdog, the Fair Trade Commission said Tuesday.

Last December, the commission slapped Qualcomm with a record fine of 1.03 trillion won ($951 million) for abusing its dominant position in the mobile communications market and ordered it not to sign unfavorable terms with customers.

The commission said Qualcomm and its two affiliates breached Korean competition laws by refusing to offer licenses to chipset manufacturers and demanding high fees for patents used by smartphone makers.

Calling the ruling “unprecedented and insupportable,” Qualcomm took the case to the Seoul High Court in February, but the court rejected it in September. The company then appealed to the Supreme Court.

Qualcomm holds a majority share of standard essential patent rights in CDMA and LTE standards, posting $7.95 billion in royalties in 2015. Yonhap