Qualcomm fined $853 million with CES 2017 looming

It'll be a few weeks of ups and downs for US-based chipset manufacturer Qualcomm


Qualcomm is well known for its processors but it may soon become infamous for being the most fined company in the smartphone business. In the space of two short years, the firm has had to pay close to $200 million (Dh734.6 million) in fines.

The company had previously been found guilty of not abiding by antitrust regulatory laws put forward in China and was subsequently hit with a $975 million fine. Following this, South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) today announced a hefty fine of $853 million for violating antitrust laws once again.

The KFTC believes that Qualcomm’s business practices violate the Korean competition law and says the issued fine is intended to be “corrective” in nature. Here is Qualcomm’s statement on the decision:

Qualcomm strongly disagrees with the KFTC’s announced decision, which Qualcomm believes is inconsistent with the facts and the law, reflects a flawed process and represents a violation of due process rights owed American companies under the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement.

While Qualcomm is said to appeal the fined amount as well as its means of calculation, the company must pay the sum of money within the next 60 days. Amidst this, something to note is that only 3 per cent of Qualcomm’s total licensing revenue has come from South Korea in the 2016 fiscal year.

CES 2017 plans

On the bright side, the company is set to announce its latest Snapdragon 835 processor in Las Vegas next week.

It was previously revealed that the chip will be based on Samsung’s 10-nanometre processor and will support QuickCharge 4.0 technology. The company claims it will enable smartphones to gain five hours of life on just a five-minute charge.

The company’s latest chipset will be the heart of many flagships in 2017

Although nothing about the processor’s hardware has been revealed, a recent leak suggests an octa-core design with a clock speed of 2.2GHz. The new Adreno 540 GPU is also reported to bring a 30 per cent performance boost to the chipset. But with none of these official, do take the leaks with a pinch of salt.

According to rumours, Samsung’s Galaxy S8 could be the first phone donning Qualcomm’s latest when it hits the market early next year.