July 9, 2019 / 12:16 PM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-U.S. demands S.Korea improve competition hearing procedures

(Adds pending lawsuits)

SEOUL, July 9 (Reuters) - The United States has urged South Korea to improve procedures in competition hearings led by the Asian country's fair trade agency, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) said on Tuesday.

U.S. parties had been denied certain rights, including the opportunity to review and rebut evidence against them, USTR said, adding that pending amendments to South Korea's related law failed to address U.S. concerns.

It did not say whether this consultation was related to any specific company or case, but the meeting was held as U.S. smartphone chip maker Qualcomm Inc has been fighting an antitrust ruling by a South Korean agency.

Qualcomm has filed a lawsuit in South Korea, challenging a decision in December 2016 by the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) to fine it 1.03 trillion won ($871.15 million) for what the agency called unfair business practices in patent licensing.

South Korea's trade ministry said in a separate statement that the consultation was not related to any specific company or companies. ($1 = 1,182.34 won) (Reporting by Choonsik Yoo; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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