South Korean antitrust regulator fines Qualcomm $865 million

IndustriesAssociated Press

South Korea's antitrust regulator has slapped a 1.03 trillion won ($865 million) fine on Qualcomm Inc. for allegedly violating competition laws.

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The Fair Trade Commission said Wednesday that the San Diego, California-based company had engaged in unfair business practices in patent licensing and chip sales, including refusing to let rival chipmakers license patents essential for chip making.

The FTC said Qualcomm allegedly used its dominant position in the modem chip market to force handset makers to pay license fees for a broad set of patents under terms it set unilaterally and to coerce handset makers into signing licensing contracts.

The fine is the biggest ever levied by the antitrust regulator.

Qualcomm rejected the ruling, saying it plans to appeal it in court.