Qualcomm: $1.3 billion Samsung licensing deal unrelated to fair trade violations

South Korean consumer electronics giant and number two mobile phone seller worldwide, Samsung has re-negotiated its cross-licensing agreements with Qualcomm to the tune of $1.3 billion plus continuing royalties.

Though most of the terms and conditions of the deal are confidential, Samsung has said that the deal will give Qualcomm access to 57 of its mobile technology patents, and in turn receive access to Qualcomm's 3G CDMA/WCDMA and 4G OFDM patents for the next fifteen years.

Samsung said this deal is "more favorable than the previous one."

With such a substantial amount of money, it's hard to imagine how costly Qualcomm patent licensing used to be.

In July, the South Korea Fair Trade Commission hit Qualcomm with the largest fine it's ever levied on a single company for abusing its dominant market position to obtain higher licensing fees.

That fine was the result of a three-year investigation into Qualcomm's collection of royalties, which the Commission alleged were unfairly stacked against companies that didn't use Qualcomm chips. The Commission said Qualcomm would impose higher royalties on handset makers that used modem chips from Qualcomm's competitors.

Qualcomm told the South Korean media that this deal with Samsung has nothing to do with the company's fair trade violation there.

"We anticipate accelerated CDMA device growth in calendar year 2010 as the global migration to 3G continues," Paul E. Jacobs, chairman and CEO of Qualcomm said.

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