Qualcomm still refuses to pay $910 million penalties in South Korea

- Adrian Ungureanu

Qulacomm, the chipmaker that makes the Snapdragon chipsets, is still refusing to back down in its fight against the Korean authorities that ask for huge financial penalties against the American company, which said on September 5 that it will appeal the Korea Fair Trade Commission’s order and penalties for unfair business practices.

“Qualcomm continues to believe that the FTC’s decision is not supported by the facts and law, and was the product of a hearing and investigation that denied us fundamental due process rights,” said the US telecom chip giant, adding it would appeal the case in Korea’s Supreme Court.

The statement came after the Seoul Central District Court dismissed Qualcomm’s first appeal to cancel the FTC’s order, which urged the firm to renegotiate with smartphone makers, such as Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics, upon request to fix unfair contract terms.

The FTC said that the US company utilized its monopolistic market status to force its customers into signing patent license contracts when selling its chips for smartphones and did not pay for the use of patents held by mobile phone makers.

The nation’s antitrust agency slapped the chip company with a record 1.03 trillion won (US$909 million) fine for violating relevant laws.

The San Diego-based firm is also accused of refusing to offer licenses to chip sets and demanding high fees from smartphone firms for standard essential patents, which are supposed to be provided to others under nondiscriminatory terms.

Samsung and LG annually pay 1.5 trillion won in license fees to the US chip company.

The thing with Qualcomm is that more and more institutions, including in the US, and companies, among them giants as Apple, Microsoft, Intel of Facebook are accusing Qualcomm for abusive practices. Usually when a number of people tell you that you are tired you go to bed. Qualcomm still thinks it’s not time to sleep.