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South Korea fines U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm 1 trillion won

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South Korea’s competition authorities have fined U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm 1 trillion won (850 million dollars) for unfair business practices, they announced on Wednesday.

Qualcomm, which was hit with a 260 billion-won fine in 2009 in a similar case, has said the fine is unreasonable and plans to challenge it in court.

“The fine violates the terms of a free-trade agreement between South Korea and the United States,’’ Qualcomm said.

Report says Qualcomm is as important to the Smartphone world as Intel is for the PC world: nearly every Smartphone contains Qualcomm technology.

The Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) accused the company of abusing this dominant position in the market.

Qualcomm paid a fine of 975 million dollars in China and was forced to reduce the licensing fees it charges Chinese

Smartphone manufacturers. Competition authorities in the U.S. and Europe are also examining Qualcomm’s business practices.

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