South Korea’s antitrust regulator, the Fair Trade Commission, has fined US chipmaker Broadcom $14.2 million and issued a corrective order for unfair business practices against Samsung Electronics. Broadcom allegedly used unlawful tactics such as cutting off supply and technical support to force Samsung into signing a long-term contract to use its telecommunications components. Under the deal, Samsung had to purchase Broadcom’s components worth over $760 million annually from 2021 to 2023. This resulted in Samsung having to buy more parts than necessary and incurring additional costs of at least $160 million. Broadcom argued that the contract was mutually beneficial, but the regulator rejected this argument. The fine was based on the total amount of parts purchased by Samsung under the contract. Samsung is considering filing a civil suit against Broadcom for damages, while Broadcom may file an administrative lawsuit to cancel the regulator’s sanctions. The legal battle between the two companies is expected to continue.
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