Broadcom pulls Qualcomm offer after Trump shuts deal down

REUTERS

Broadcom office building in Rancho Bernardo Calif. Mike Blake REUTERS

The order came a week after the Committee on Foreign Investment in the USA, or CFIUS, expressed concern that the takeover of Qualcomm by Singapore-based Broadcom could leave the US behind when it comes to mobile technology.

CFIUS said one big concern is that the United States would fall behind on the development of 5G technology and allow China to take the lead.

As such, Broadcom and Qualcomm "shall immediately and permanently abandon the proposed takeover", Trump ordered.

Qualcomm's board of directors unanimously rejected an acquisition proposal from Broadcom last month, saying that they are turning down the latter's $121 billion bid on the grounds that the offer undervalued the business, and also that any takeover would face antitrust hurdles.

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Chris Caso, an industry analyst with Raymond James, pointed out how brief the review of the deal was by U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment, and how rare it is for a U.S. president to intervene.

"In short, USA national security concerns are not a risk to closing, as Broadcom never plans to acquire Qualcomm before it completes redomiciliation". That could leave the US hobbled in the race to develop next generation, 5G wireless technology, according to people familiar with the matter. "Although Broadcom is based in Singapore, Chinese companies such as Huawei and ZTE have emerged as strong competitors in the race towards 5G".

But the presidential order blocked any further attempt, even if it was handled indirectly, and disqualified any of Broadcom's potential director appointees to Qualcomm's board.

Now that Qualcomm has evaded takeover, the company needs to show that it can be an innovator in 5G technology, according to the WSJ.

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Broadcom has confirmed that it will withdraw its offer to acquire rival chip company Qualcomm.

A Qualcomm acquisition would have amounted to the largest technology deal in history.

As part of its attempts to persuade Qualcomm stockholders, and United States government and regulators Broadcom promised to shift its headquarters to the US. Broadcom had planned since previous year to relocate its legal headquarters to the United States, avoiding the need for a CFIUS review.

It appears that takeover negotiations between Broadcom and Qualcomm have come to an abrupt ending.

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In addition, lawmakers have expressed concerns in the past about foreign companies gaining a foothold in USA telecom infrastructure, which could lead to spying or cybertheft.

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