By Eun-Young Jeong

SEOUL--South Korea's antitrust watchdog fined Qualcomm Inc. $852.9 million for alleged antitrust law violations as the U.S. chip maker faces global scrutiny over its patent-licensing business.

The Korea Fair Trade Commission said on Wednesday that Qualcomm violated antitrust law by limiting the access of competing chipset makers to its patents. The company also forced mobile-phone manufacturing companies into unfair license agreements by refusing to supply crucial phone chips to those that disagree with its terms, the KFTCsaid.

Qualcomm used its position as a key chip supplier as a leveraging tool in its negotiations with mobile-phone makers to agree to unfair conditions, said Shin Young-son, Secretary-General at KFTC.

Qualcomm dismissed KFTC's charges, saying that it hasn't hindered other chip suppliers from their ability to sell. The practice of licensing at the device level is an industrywide norm, said Don Rosenberg, general counsel at Qualcomm.

Last year, Qualcomm agreed to a settlement with antitrust authorities in China that included a $975 million fine and a requirement that the company alter its business practices.

Write to Eun-Young Jeong at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 27, 2016 22:42 ET (03:42 GMT)

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