Just days after getting slapped with a massive fine in China for violating antitrust regulations, Qualcomm is facing a similar investigation in South Korea.
According to Maeil Business Newspaper (link via Google Translate), South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission is currently looking at the business practices Qualcomm used to supply chips to smartphone makers including Samsung and LG. The newspaper reports that the San Diego-based semiconductor maker may have collected royalty payments for its patents, which is against antitrust laws.
If South Korean regulators up punishing Qualcomm, it won’t be the first time. In 2009, it fined the company $207 million for charging higher royalties to mobile phone makers that had also purchased modem chips from its competitors. At that time, it was the largest fine the Fair Trade Commission had ever levied against a company.
Earlier this week, Qualcomm was charged 6.088 billion yuan (about $975 million) by Chinese regulators after a year-and-a-half long antitrust investigation. In a statement, Qualcomm said it was “disappointed by the results of the investigation” but that it would not contest the decision. The company also said it would offer licenses to its 3G and 4G patents in China separately from licenses to its other patents.
TechCrunch has contacted Qualcomm for more information and will update this post if we hear back from them.