December 28, 2016 / 3:03 AM / in 7 months

S.Korea regulator fines Qualcomm $854 mln for violating competition laws

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SEJONG, South Korea, Dec 28 (Reuters) - South Korea's antitrust regulator said on Wednesday it fined U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm Inc 1.03 trillion won ($854 million), a record for the country, ruling its business practices of patent licensing and smartphone modem chip sales hindered competition.

The Korea Fair Trade Commission said Qualcomm abused its dominant market position and forced handset makers to pay royalties for an unnecessarily broad set of patents as part of sales of its modem chips.

The U.S. firm also hindered competition by refusing or limiting licensing of its standard essential patents for modem chips to rival chipmakers, the regulator said.

Qualcomm in February 2015 agreed to pay a $975 million fine in China following an antitrust probe, while the European Union in late 2015 charged the firm with anticompetitive behaviour. Regulators in other jurisdictions, including the United States and Taiwan, are also investigating the chipmaker. ($1 = 1,206.4700 won) (Reporting by Se Young Lee; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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