Qualcomm considers South Korean wireless, health care investments

Qualcomm is eyeing investments in South Korean wireless and health care companies, according to the company's chief executive.

Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs said the chipmaker is seeking investments in a wide variety of companies. "Certainly wireless technologies, but I've also said... health care technologies," Jacobs told Reuters in Seoul. "There's a lot of different opportunities." Jacobs said Qualcomm's venture arm is also investing in categories that the company is more traditionally associated with, such as software, multimedia, hardware components and infrastructure.

The company, the world's leading provider of chipsets for cell phones, has long dominated the CDMA chipset market, but has made significant moves into the WCDMA silicon scene. Further, the company plays in a variety of other areas, including mobile TV, GPS-based fleet management and cell phone software through is BREW effort. Indeed, Qualcomm recently backed a new startup called Zeebo, which aims to provide a wireless video gaming experience in developing countries such as Brazil, Russia, India and China. 

Somewhat ironically, the chipmaker has come under fire from regulators in South Korea. In March, Qualcomm said that regulators at the Korea Fair Trade Commission issued a case examiner's report, detailing allegations that certain aspects Qualcomm's practices associated with chip sales might be unlawful. The company said the practices are related to the "integration of multimedia solutions" into the company's chipsets, as well as "rebates and discounts provided to its chipset customers."

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