A Case Study: How the Record Breaking Antitrust Penalty Against Qualcomm Transforms the Landscape of SEPs Licensing in China

March 27, 2015

The PRC National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) finally concluded its antitrust investigations against Qualcomm and issued an administrative sanction on February 10, 2015, putting an end to the 16-month investigation. The anti-monopoly enforcement agency held that Qualcomm had abused its dominant market position and restricted competition, and that its monopolistic conduct had violated the PRC Anti-monopoly Law (AML). A written decision was published on March 2, 2015.

As a result of the violation, a record-breaking administrative penalty of RMB6.0988 billion (~US$975 million) was imposed by the NDRC, which turned out to be the largest fine for antitrust violations ever imposed by the Chinese government and an amount equal to five times the total amount of fines levied by the NDRC in 2014.

This OnPoint examines the background of China's antitrust laws, a summary of the penalty decision, and its significance and implications.

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