Friday, 25 May, 2018

Trump blocks Broadcom's $117 billion Qualcomm bid citing national security concerns

Intel намерена вернуться на рынок мобильных процессоров Intel fears the merger of Broadcom and Qualcomm
Terence Owen | 13 March, 2018, 11:51

US President Donald Trump on Monday blocked semiconductor maker Broadcom Ltd's proposed takeover of Qualcomm on grounds of national security, ending what would have been the technology industry's biggest deal ever.

"Broadcom, which is in all important respects a US company, has been repeatedly approved by CFIUS in its previous acquisitions of USA companies and has always engaged productively with CFIUS to ensure US national security is protected", the company said in a Monday release.

According to Bloomberg, Trump acted on a recommendation from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which reviews foreign acquisitions of American firms.

CFIUS had launched an investigation into the national security implications of the deal last week over concerns that it would hamper USA efforts to develop 5G wireless networks and other emerging technologies. Both companies are required to go through and finalize the process that signifies the proposed takeover has been abandoned, which includes getting a written certification that such a deal has been stopped. Broadcom's $117 billion offer ($79 a share) is no more.

Shares of Broadcom rose less than 1.0 percent to $264.10 in after hours trade while Qualcomm fell 4.3 percent to $60.14.

Qualcomm has been manoeuvring for weeks to rebuff Broadcom's unwanted advances, and had asked CFIUS to look into national security implications of a merger.

"This should concern us as a nation". Qualcomm said in a statement that it received the executive order.

To be sure Broadcom was taken by surprise by the snap decision of CFIUS.

While not directly citing China in the order, the White House is understood to be concerned about Broadcom's relationships with foreign entities, including Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies.

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Hunter said the merger would make Broadcom the third largest chipmaker in the world, "giving them control over a major portion of the supply chain, which is critical to the vital communications components".

Chinese companies such as Huawei Technologies have been investing heavily in research and would be able to step into any void created by a weakened Qualcomm.

Unlike Qualcomm, Tan said, Broadcom financed its innovation through "lawful practices".

Moorhead likened the idea of merging the companies to mixing oil and water.

Yet the unsolicited takeover bid was just the most immediate in a long list of challenges for Qualcomm, which also include legal disputes with customer Apple Inc, a decline in profit and a regulatory assault on its licensing business, all of which have eroded faith in Chief Executive Officer Steve Mollenkopf.

Along with self-driving cars, drones and robots depending on super-fast wireless data connections, such networks will also be relied on by the military.

Hunter said it could reflect "an evolution in the thinking" of the committee, perhaps an indication that it's going to approach transactions in which foreign people or entities seek to own 5G wireless technology with the same sensitivity and rigour that the feds now "apply to military equipment traditionally".

"There will be drones and robots".

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