Qualcomm may face probe into business practices in South Korea

The new investigation follows China fining Qualcomm $975 for monopolistic behavior

Just days after settling with the Chinese government over claims it abused its market dominance, Qualcomm may be investigated in South Korea over the same issue.

South Korea's Fair Trade Commission is considering an investigation into Qualcomm's business practices, the Wall Street Journal reported, but did not provide additional details. A Qualcomm spokesman declined to comment.

The possible probe would likely look at Qualcomm's practices in licensing its Snapdragon chip, and wireless and modem technologies. Qualcomm earlier this week was fined US$975 million by China for overcharging licensees in the country, and in 2009 was fined $200 million by the South Korea Fair Trade Commission.

Among Qualcomm's top South Korean customers are Samsung, LG and Pantech. Qualcomm downgraded its second-half 2015 revenue when a large customer, most likely Samsung, dropped the Snapdragon 810 chip from one of its top-selling phones.

The China settlement required Qualcomm to unbundle its 3G and LTE licenses and sell them separately from other licensed technology. Qualcomm had to renegotiate some licensing deals as part of the settlement.

Qualcomm owns a large number of 3G and 4G patents, and according to analysts, earns a royalty every time a baseband processor is used in a handset. Its application processors like Snapdragon are used in fewer devices, but bundling licenses allowed Qualcomm to charge more fees. It's possible that South Korea is using the China example to create a favorable business environment for local device makers.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags legalqualcommantitrust

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments


James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >




Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?