A Comparative and Economic Analysis Of The U.S. FTC’s Complaint and The Korea FTC’s Decision Against Qualcomm

A Comparative and Economic Analysis Of The U.S. FTC’s Complaint and The Korea FTC’s Decision Against Qualcomm

Anne Layne-Farrar
Antitrust & Competition

On January 17, 2017, the US FTC filed a lawsuit against Qualcomm based on a “monopoly broth” or course of conduct theory for alleged monopoly maintenance in certain narrowly defined baseband processor markets. In a jurisdiction on the other side of the globe, the KFTC issued an administrative decision against Qualcomm on December 28, 2016, concluding that the company employed an “unfair business model” with respect to the licensing of its 2G, 3G, and 4G standard-essential patents and the sale of its baseband processors. This article provides a legal and economic comparative analysis of the FTC’s complaint and the KFTC’s decision, highlighting the fundamental differences between the two and setting forth some of the main economic and legal problems with each.

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