Qualcomm Files Another Antitrust Suspension Appeal In Korea

Qualcomm on Tuesday announced its intention to file an immediate appeal against a recent ruling given by the Seoul High Court which dismissed the tech giant's attempt to suspend a remedial order that the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) issued against it in late 2016, ordering the firm to pay the today's equivalent of over $900 million for what it deemed was monopolistic behavior. The San Diego, California-based semiconductor manufacturer stated that the latest turn of events still doesn't impact its main appeal against the order itself, with its representatives stating that Qualcomm continues to believe the verdict it was hit with was a result of an unjust procedure which didn't allow the firm to use its due process rights, hence not being backed by the law in the Far Eastern country.

Qualcomm is still adamant to stay the remedial order which it claims will cause "irreparable damage" to its operations and needs to be suspended until the original ruling is overturned, which it believes is a probable scenario. The company is consequently filing an appeal with the Korea Supreme Court, the top judicial body in the country and its last chance for winning the dispute at hand. For the time being, Qualcomm is still required to engage in what the KFTC describes as bona fide negotiations with other chip companies interested in licensing its numerous patents or amending their existing license agreements. The tech giant continues to argue that its patent licensing policies are in line with contemporary industry practices and aren't any anti-competitive in any way.

Accusations of Qualcomm using an unfair business model aren't exclusive to South Korea; the company is currently leading similar legal battles in both Europe and the United States, having recently clashed with the European Commission, U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and even Apple. The latter previously claimed the firm's per-device royalty fees allow it to profit from inventions it had nothing to do with, accusing the company of trying to monopolize the market with this practice, a notion that Qualcomm vehemently denies. An update on its dispute with the Korean antitrust watchdog is likely to follow by early 2018 when both the Seoul High Court and Korean Supreme Court are expected to rule on its two appeals.

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