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Samsung wins ruling over Apple; Obama blocks Chinese tech deal

In this biweekly Asia-Pacific Regulatory Spotlight feature, S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a roundup of significant recent regulatory events in the Asia-Pacific region.

TOP NEWS

* The U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 6 sided with Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. in its long-running patent spat with Apple Inc. The case will be sent to the lower court to recalculate the damages in light of the ruling on the disputed $399 million portion of the settlement that the Samsung Group unit initially had to pay Apple.

* U.S. President Barack Obama blocked the proposed $715 million takeover of German semiconductor firm Aixtron by China's Fujian Grand Chip Investment due to national security concerns, Bloomberg News reported Dec. 2. Fujian retracted its acquisition offer as a result of the decision.

SOUTH KOREA

* The Korea Communications Commission imposed penalties totaling nearly 10.7 billion South Korean won on seven telcos and multisystem operators, including LG Uplus Corp. and SK Broadband, News 1 reported Dec. 6.

CHINA, HONG KONG AND TAIWAN

* China's newly revised radio regulation will allow 5G frequencies to be allocated through market-based approaches such as bidding and auction, C114 reported Dec. 2.

* Taiwan's Investment Commission rejected an application by Chinese online video platform iQiyi for a license to operate in the territory, Variety reported Nov. 30.

SOUTHEAST ASIA

* The British Broadcasting Corp. faces an investigation for a possible violation of Thailand's lèse majesté law against insulting the monarchy, Reuters reported Dec. 7. The BBC ran a profile on Thailand's new king that sparked anger on social media.

* Thailand's cabinet approved a budget of 13 billion baht to improve the country's internet infrastructure, Prachachat reported Dec. 7. It also granted TOT Public Co. Ltd. and CAT Telecom direct access to the budget.

* Also in Thailand, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission expects to auction 80 MHz of spectrum on the 2,600 MHz band owned by state enterprise MCOT Public Co. Ltd. by June 2017, the Bangkok Post reported Dec. 6.

* Five companies applied to bid for spectrum in the Philippines given up by PLDT Inc. and Globe Telecom, the Manila Standard reported Nov. 30. The National Telecommunications Commission is proposing that the frequencies be bundled for auction to help the resulting new telco player compete with the country's two industry giants.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* Australian telco Telstra Corp. Ltd. has shut down its original 2G network in the country, the International Business Times reported Dec. 2.

* New Zealand's Commerce Commission pushed back its decision on the proposed merger between SKY Network Television Ltd. and Vodafone NZ, NZ Newswire reported Dec. 4. The commission will issue it on Feb. 23, 2017, instead of Dec. 21 in order to review the large number of submissions on the proposed deal.

* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in a Nov. 29 draft decision rejected a request by four Australian banks to collectively boycott and negotiate with Apple Inc. in relation to its mobile payments system, Apple Pay.

INDIA AND SOUTH ASIA

* A high court in Delhi suspended all interim orders challenging the third phase of implementation of the digital addressable TV system in India. This clears the way for the fourth phase to begin in January 2017, Indian Television reported Dec. 8.

* The Supreme Court of India is seeking responses from Facebook Inc., Google Inc., Yahoo! Inc. and Microsoft Corp. on a plea to curb cybercrimes and illegal activities on social media, the Press Trust of India reported Dec. 5.

* The Delhi High Court issued notices to Tata Sons Ltd. and Japan's NTT DoCoMo Inc. after the Reserve Bank of India filed an intervention in an ongoing dispute between the two companies over their failed joint venture, The Economic Times (India) reported Dec. 2. The dispute concerns the valuation of the Japanese telco's stake in Tata DoCoMo at the time it exited the venture.

* The Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority awarded 15-year direct-to-home licenses to media companies Shahzad Sky, Mag Entertainment and Startimes Communication, Rapid TV News reported Nov. 28.

* Indian telco Reliance Jio Infocomm submitted a complaint with the Competition Commission of India against rivals Bharti Airtel Ltd., Vodafone UK's India unit and Idea Cellular, The Economic Times (India) reported Nov. 28. The Reliance Enterprises Inc. unit claimed the telcos are abusing their market dominance and formed a cartel.