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Business Articles Awards > Asian Antitrust

The China’s NDRC imposes changes in licensing practices (Qualcomm)

Cunzhen Huang, Maurits Dolmans, Stephan Barthelmess, Anita Ng, and Tara Tavernia, e-Competitions n° 72356, March 2, 2015

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On March 2, 2015, China’s National Development and Reform Commission (“NDRC”), the agency responsible for investigating price-related violations of China’s Anti-Monopoly Law (the “AML”), published a decision (the “NDRC Decision”) regarding its investigation into alleged anticompetitive conduct by Qualcomm Incorporated (“Qualcomm”), the world’s largest smartphone chipmaker. Qualcomm was found to have engaged in anticompetitive conduct relating to the licensing of standard essential patents (“SEPs”) for wireless communication technology and baseband chip sales. NDRC ordered Qualcomm to cease certain anticompetitive conduct and pay a fine of RMB 6.088 billion ( $975 million), the largest penalty imposed to date under the AML. Qualcomm announced that it would not contest the NDRC Decision and agreed to change certain of its patent licensing and baseband chip sales practices in China.

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