LG is the latest smartphone maker to join the KFTC (Korean Fair Trade Commission – South Korea’s regulatory authority for economic competition) and other companies in the lawsuit against Qualcomm. The group has already sued Qualcomm in 2016, when Qualcomm was expected to pay a 1.03 trillion won fine ($917.4 million) for abusing its patents back then.
Since Qualcomm disagrees, the KFTC filed a lawsuit and other companies joined including Apple, MediaTek, Intel, Huawei, and Samsung – except Samsung pulled from this initial stance after it announced a cross-license partnership with Qualcomm. While Samsung’s withdrawal was bad for the lawsuit, LG’s new stance strengthens the KFTC’s case again, particularly with LG being a Korean company.
According to Business Korea industry sources claim that LG chose to participate in the legal efforts against Qualcomm due to shaky negotiations between LG and Qualcomm in the US. Qualcomm’s ongoing legal fight with Apple recently resulted in Apple’s iPhones being banned in China and possibly Germany. The chip-maker alleges that Apple incorrectly used two key Qualcomm patents without paying royalties. The affected devices include all iPhones from the iPhone 6s to the iPhone X, all of which were banned from being sold in China.
As Business Korea notes, LG also does business with Qualcomm, so it will not be strange if the company takes a step backward in this move. Qualcomm and the KFTC are still years away from reaching a final verdict.