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February 1, 2018

Qualcomm, Samsung renew business partnership

Samsung Electronics had opposed Qualcomm’s bid to have its anti-competitive fine revoked.

By Sabrina Dougall

Qualcomm Technologies and Samsung Electronics have expanded an existing license deal and established a long-term strategic partnership, marking a turning point in the sometime rivals’ relationship.

As part of the renewed business agreements, the giants of the broadcast and hardware industries have decided to call it quits regarding an ongoing legal dispute in South Korea.

“The announcement today underscores the importance of our longstanding strategic relationship with Samsung in driving core mobile technology into many different segments,” said Cristiano Amon, president, Qualcomm Inc.

Determined to crack the 5G market, Qualcomm has pledged to ship 5G networks and devices running on its newest chips in just over one year’s time.Qualcomm

“Qualcomm has enjoyed a strong partnership with Samsung for many years, and we are pleased to further strengthen and extend our relationship through this amended cross-license agreement, alongside our continuing relationship as a key product supplier to Samsung,” said Steve Mollenkopf, CEO, Qualcomm Inc.

As part of the cross-license agreement, Samsung will be withdrawing its interventions in Qualcomm’s appeal of the KFTC decision in the Seoul High Court.

“We believe this amended agreement provides the foundation for a long-term, stable relationship with Samsung following the KFTC investigation,” said Alex Rogers, executive vice president and president, Qualcomm Technology Licensing.

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The South Korean Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) ordered Qualcomm to pay ca. $850m in December 2016 after a three-year investigation concluded the firm had unfairly gained a market monopoly. The San Diego-based firm launched its second appeal against the ruling in September 2017.

Samsung Electronics, along with Intel, had filed official opposition cases against Qualcomm’s bid to have the decision overturned.

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In 2015, the chipset producer handed over $975m in fines at the conclusion of a Chinese monopoly investigation. Taiwan fined the firm $774.14 in October for anti-competitive practices, and a US case along similar lines is as yet ongoing.

Last Wednesday, a beleaguered Qualcomm was ordered to pay €997m by EU antitrust watchdogs for paying Apple to exclusively use its chips in iPhone production. The chip maker is also fighting a hostile takeover bid by rival Broadcom.

This week, the US company’s mobile income fell foul of a handset sales slowdown in China during 2017; 4G mobile sales slumped 11% last year, Reuters reported.

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