Qualcomm Targets Korea

(01 Feb 2010, BWCS Staff)

Giant US chip-maker Qualcomm is to invest in an impressive new Research and Development centre in Korea, the company said today. The new venture, which will be constructed in co-operation with the South Korean Ministry of Knowledge Economy and the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), will be linked directly to local high tech companies. The centre will be second such outpost established by Qualcomm in the last twelve months following a recent decision to construct an R&D centre in China.

Qualcomm's investment in South Korea will be made directly to a local venture firm, Pulsus Technologies, which manufactures digital audio technology chips. Qualcomm is the key patent-holder of code division multiple access (CDMA) technology, which it claims is the world's most popular wireless network standard for mobile communications.

In November last year, the long-running anti-trust case against Qualcomm was finally dropped by EU competition regulators. The decision came after rivals decided to withdraw their complaints that the American outfit had been guilty of abusing its dominant position in 3G markets. A statement from the European Commission said simply that it had "investigated whether the royalties that Qualcomm has been charging since its patented technology became part of Europe's 3G standard are unreasonably high."

However, the statement went on to say that despite not having reached "formal conclusions, all complainants have now withdrawn or indicated their intention to withdraw their complaints." This, said the Commission, had left it free to focus its attention elsewhere, or, in other words, drop the case.


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