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November 6, 2014

Qualcomm facing EU probe as China investigation continues

Misses analyst estimates for Q4 results - could result in $1bn fine

By Ben Sullivan

China has a growing 4G-network, which is the main driver behind the smartphone explosion, but chipmaker Qualcomm is struggling to receive licensing revenue from OEMs in China due to the anti-trust investigation.

Qualcomm is potentially facing a $1bn fine because of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) investigation, and is already suffering from not being able to charge royalties on phones that use its patents in China.

The firm also faces investigation from the US Federal Trade Commission regarding a possible breach of licensing terms, in addition to a probe from the European Commission regarding rebates and tax incentives in the sale of chips.

Qualcomm reported its fourth quarter earnings yesterday, missing analyst estimates. The chipmaker reported $6.69bn in revenues, a 3% increase over last year. However, analysts estimated revenue to be just over $7bn.

Qualcomm shares dropped 5% after close. A statement from Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf said: "We are pleased to report another year of record financial performance as our 3G/4G LTE multimode and other advanced technologies continue to enable the growth of wireless data around the world, driven by our broad chipset roadmap."

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