Monday, 15 October, 2018

Trump blocks Broadcom's Qualcomm bid, citing security concerns

Douglas Lane & Associates LLC Purchases 58013 Shares of QUALCOMM, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM) If Trump really wants to protect Qualcomm's long-term prospects perhaps he should get on the phone to Apple
Cristina Norman | 14 March, 2018, 00:35

Trump cited in the order that there is "credible evidence" that causes him to believe that Broadcom-if able to purchase Qualcomm-"might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States", although he didn't elaborate on the evidence.

The Executive Order outlines that Broadcom, "through exercising control of Qualcomm Incorporated (Qualcomm), a DE corporation, might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States". The order came a week after the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, or CFIUS, expressed concern that the takeover of Qualcomm by Singapore-based Broadcom could leave the U.S. behind when it comes to mobile technology.

Shortly after President Donald Trump blocked chipmaker Broadcom's planned hostile takeover of rival Qualcomm last night, Broadcom said it "strongly disagrees" with that decision and is reviewing the president's order.

Lewis said it was possible USA intelligence found something to warrant concern over the deal even as Broadcom was taking steps to redomicile in the United States by April 3, which would negate a CFIUS investigation.

Last November, semiconductor manufacturer Broadcomm made an unsolicited bid to acquire semiconductor and telecommunications equipment company Qualcomm for $130 billion, which the USA company rebuffed.

The race towards the latest 5G wireless technology is a vital part of the chip-making sector, with Qualcomm considered to be one of the leaders in this field, followed by Broadcom and China's telecoms giant Huawei.

Aside from Qualcomm and Broadcom, there are two other manufacturers that are no doubt following this development with interest. The reason for halting the takeover bid was due to national security grounds.

The move demonstrates the high value that the administration places on maintaining the USA edge in developing micro technologies.

"And a chip industry merger featuring a company now headquartered in Singapore raises concerns about "Chinese influence", a report in LightReading noted today". "With its proven track record of investing in and growing core franchises, Broadcom is committed to making the USA the global leader in 5G".

Broadcom said it would fully cooperate with CFIUS screening, but the letter implied it would be hard to persuade the committee to approve the takeover. Qualcomm's shareholder meeting, which must now take place no later than ten days after this order, is scheduled for March 23.

America's bellicose President has sharpened his nationalist knife and plunged it into the proposed takeover of Qualcomm by Singapore's Broadcom.

Also left at the altar is Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), which had been urged as recently as March 12 to make a bid for Qualcomm to scuttle Broadcom's deal. The President citing national security concerns ends the speculation of what would have been the technology industry's biggest buyout deal ever.

The deal had been under scrutiny from regulators and others, and would have seen the Singapore-based Broadcom officially take over the USA -based Qualcomm.

CFIUS has already blocked a number of takeovers of United States corporations since Mr Trump became president and the use by the White House of its report last week, in justifying this decision, suggests it will be used again in the future as part of the President's policy arsenal.

"I get the concerns about China taking our intellectual property etc. but I think they are misplaced in this specific case", Rasgon said.

Broadcom had sought to provide assurances it would continue investing in research after the takeover, but in a letter on Sunday sent to both companies CFIUS said Broadcom's actions had "so far" confirmed its national security concerns.

This move comes contrary to Trump's comments about Broadcom last November when he called the group "one of the great, great companies", which he was "thrilled" to welcome to the US.

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