Tuesday, 21 August, 2018

Trump blocks $140bn Qualcomm takeover bid

President Trump says Broadcom must pull out of attempt to buy Qualcomm Broadcom CEO's Ambition to Roll Up Chip Industry Halted by Trump
| 14 March, 2018, 00:41

Trump, in his executive order, said there is "credible evidence" that leads him to believe that if Broadcom Limited took control of the US-based Qualcomm it "might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the US".

It was also unlikely to pass muster in Washington because the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a panel formed from various USA government agencies that effectively acts as an arbiter of various takeover deals, had already warned the takeover could act against U.S. national security.

The order comes a little over four months after Broadcom first announced its intention to pay $70 per share for Qualcomm, with CEO Hock Tan celebrating next to Trump in the Oval Office, promising to move Broadcom's offices to San Jose.

"The proposed takeover of Qualcomm by the Purchaser is prohibited, and any substantially equivalent merger, acquisition, or takeover, whether effected directly or indirectly, is also prohibited", the order said. Besides banning the deal, it also disqualifies all of Broadcom's director nominees from being elected as Qualcomm's directors.

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which raised concerns about the Qualcomm deal, listed the highly-leveraged nature of Broadcom's bid for its larger rival as a major concern and a risk to Qualcomm's leadership on mobile technology.

While Huawei wasn't a part of the deal and didn't try to make a run at Qualcomm or Broadcom, there's growing concern in the us that China is gaining too much control over the mobile Internet infrastructure and other components that the U.S.is increasingly relying upon.

Meanwhile, Qualcomm has been on the other end of a stumbling M&A drama.

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.


Here's what you need to know about the canceled Broadcom-Qualcomm combination, and what's next for these companies after Trump's order. However, if the takeover would have been successful, China would've had an upper hand in mobile communications.

Donald Trump just stepped into the global 5G "arms race". Once the move is done, Broadcom could argue that CFIUS does not have jurisdiction, the second expert said.

The U.S. government's CFIUS had legitimate concerns the proposed acquisition would slow down Qualcomm's push into 5G technology.

Although Broadcom could appeal the president's decision, Trump's action looks to have drawn a line under a takeover saga that began back in November. It said: "given well-known U.S. national security concerns about Huawei and other Chinese telecommunications companies, a shift to Chinese dominance in 5G would have substantial negative national security consequences for the United States".

The administration moved with unusual speed in the matter that caught many involved in the negotiations off guard.

Broadcom's hostile takeover of Qualcomm was stopped in its tracks last week after the U.S. began conducting an investigation into the risks the merger posed to national security.

5G, or the fifth generation of cellular technology, is seen as a potential game-changer because of its heightened speed, responsiveness and ability to handle a myriad of connected devices.

There were reportedly concerns that the takeover could have led to China pulling ahead in the development of 5G wireless technology.

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