Qualcomm Hit With New Antitrust Investigations by FTC, Europe Regulators - TheStreet

SAN FRANCISCO (TheStreet) -- Qualcomm (QCOM) - Get Report is under investigation for potential antitrust breaches in Europe as well as the U.S., the company disclosed Wednesday. These new antitrust probes add to legal woes the company is already facing in China, which could undermine its business opportunities there. 

The European Commission is taking a look at the rebates and financial incentives offered by the Southern California semiconductor maker in the sale of its chips, according to a Reuters report. Additionally, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission is inquiring into whether Qualcomm breached its licensing terms.

These latest moves by regulators add to Qualcomm's antitrust problems, which include an 11-month investigation by the China National Development and Reform Commission. China's NDRC investigation centers on Qualcomm's royalties that it imposes on customers that use its patents.

Reuters said that Wall Street is worried Qualcomm could face a fine of more than $1 billion from the NDRC investigation. Qualcomm shares fell nearly 6% in late trading Wednesday.

In its earnings report Wednesday, Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf said in a statement, "Our fiscal 2015 outlook reflects continued LTE leadership in our semiconductor business and is tempered by the issues we are facing in China related to our licensing business."

On the China investigation, the company said:

China continues to present significant opportunities for us, particularly with the rollout of 3G/4G LTE multimode, but also presents significant challenges, as our business practices continue to be the subject of an investigation by the China National Development and Reform Commission.

At the time of publication, the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

TheStreet Ratings team rates QUALCOMM INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate QUALCOMM INC (QCOM) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, increase in stock price during the past year and growth in earnings per share. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook."

You can view the full analysis from the report here: QCOM Ratings Report