NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Qualcomm (QCOM) are down 0.39% to $75.32 after it was reported that the settlement of China's anti-trust probe is likely to intensify global scrutiny of the firm's highly profitable patent licensing business, and may even call into question its worldwide contracts with smartphone makers such as Apple (AAPL) and Samsung (SSNLF) , Reuters reports.
China's National Development and Reform Commission is moving to wrap up its 13-month investigation into the U.S. chipmaker as soon as possible, the regulator said in a statement on Friday, bringing to an end one of the most high profile of a slew of such investigations by Beijing into western firms, Reuters said.
Any deal is likely to include a record-breaking fine, as well as changes to how Qualcomm licenses its technology to handset makers in China, according to Reuters industry sources and local press reports.
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That could weaken the firm's prized technology-licensing business across the global smartphone industry by increasing pressure from regulators in other countries. Anti-trust probes in Europe and by the FTC may be related to China's investigation, Qualcomm has said, Reuters noted.
"It's not an overstatement to say they're under attack," Thomas Cotter, a patent expert and professor at the University of Minnesota Law School told Reuters. "Nobody knows how it will play out but the fact that there is an FTC investigation tells you something."