Qualcomm to open up chips to South Korean software developers

Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) will begin disclosing information to South Korean companies that will allow them to design software architecture on the company's chips, the country's antitrust regulator said.

South Korea's Fair Trade Commission said Qualcomm will disclose the information to South Korean firms over the next two to 10 months. The regulator said Qualcomm had kept the data to itself, forcing companies to use its own software.

Qualcomm was fined $236 million by the antitrust regulator in 2009 for infractions related to chipset royalties. The commission said when Qualcomm licensed its CDMA technology, it imposed higher royalties on handset makers that used modem chips provided by Qualcomm rivals. Qualcomm disagreed with that ruling and appealed it in South Korean court.

The software issue was part of the original probe, but had been put under further review. Qualcomm agreed to release the information during the investigation.

Despite its contentious relationship with regulators, Qualcomm has been trying to repair its standing in the country. The company announced plans earlier this year to open a new research and development facility in South Korea; Qualcomm said the facility will focus on new mobile communication technologies, including mobile applications and multimedia. The chipmaker has a similar R&D plant in China.

Qualcomm reported record chipset shipments in its fiscal fourth quarter, and said net income rose 8 percent to $865 million. 

For more:
- see this Bloomberg article

Related Articles:
Qualcomm ships record number of chips in Q4
Qualcomm roughed up by lower profits, $208M Korean antitrust fine
Antitrust regulators question Qualcomm chip sales in South Korea
Qualcomm considers South Korean wireless, health care investments