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Qualcomm files second appeal against South Korea FTC order

The court effort comes as the chipmaker faces legal battles around the world.


Competition regulators around the world have been investigating Qualcomm for monopolistic practices.


Qualcomm isn't one to give up easily.

The US chipmaker has decided to file another appeal to the Korea Supreme Court regarding an order from the South Korean Fair Trade Commission that resulted in the largest fine in Korean history, the company said Tuesday.

After nearly three years of investigation, the KFTC found Qualcomm guilty of monopolistic practices in December, ordering the chipset maker to pay about $850 million in penalties. The commission said Qualcomm had an "unfair business model" that helped it more than double its share of the LTE chip market to 69 percent from 34 percent in 2010 over five years.

The KFTC order came after Qualcomm agreed in 2015 to pay a fine amounting to almost $1 billion in China, where it was investigated for monopolising the market.

Qualcomm said it would appeal the Seoul High Court ruling, which rejected the company's initial appeal of the KFTC order earlier on Tuesday. The high court ruled the KFTC's order wouldn't cause Qualcomm's business to suffer "irreparable harm."

"Qualcomm continues to believe that the KFTC's decision is not supported by the acts and law, and was the product of a hearing and investigation that denied Qualcomm fundamental due process rights," the company said in its statement.

Neither Qualcomm nor the KFTC responded to requests for comment.

Qualcomm is also facing challenges in other parts of the world. The US chipmaker lost an appeal of a daily $669,000 fine imposed on it by the European Commission for failing to cooperate in an investigation into alleged monopolistic behaviour. It's also fighting a similar suit filed against it by the US Federal Trade Commission, which alleged the chipmaker charged phone manufacturers excessive royalty fees and engaged in anti-competitive behaviour with its dominance in the market.

Qualcomm is also battling Apple in court over alleged unfair licensing terms. Last month, the US International Trade Commission said it would investigate the situation.

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