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 antitrustlegalqualcomm

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

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

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.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?