Chip stocks fell Tuesday after Judge Lucy Koh of Federal District Court in San Jose, California, ruled that Qualcomm, Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM) violated antitrust law. According to the ruling, Qualcomm must change the way it does business and renegotiate license deals with its customers.
“Qualcomm’s licensing practices have strangled competition in the CDMA and premium LTE modem chip markets for years, and harmed rivals, OEMs, and end consumers in the process,” Judge Koh said in her ruling.
Qualcomm has stated that it disagrees with the decision and will seek an immediate stay and appeal. Shares of the company fell by nearly 11 percent on Wednesday, which was its largest intraday decline since January 2017.
“We strongly disagree with the judge’s conclusions, her interpretation of the facts and her application of the law,” Don Rosenberg, executive vice president and general counsel for Qualcomm, said in a statement Wednesday.
On Wednesday, Deutsche Bank lowered its price target on the stock to $80 from $90. The firm currently has a “hold” rating on the stock. The ruling has many analysts questioning what will come next for the company.
“In practice, we don’t know what will happen next. Renegotiating licenses is likely to be onerous, and given their largest customers (AAPL and Samsung) have (at this point) attractive deals (and with Huawei not paying anyway) perhaps (barring appeal, etc) it can be contained, though we suppose the risk exists of smaller players attempting to renegotiate.” said Alliance Bernstein analyst Stacy Rasgon.