Monday, 17 December, 2018

Trump blocks high-tech takeover bid

President Trump says Broadcom must pull out of attempt to buy Qualcomm Trump's Broadcom, Qualcomm decision protects US companies, former White House adviser
Andy Castillo | 14 March, 2018, 00:38

President Trump has blocked the proposed $117 billion takeover of Qualcomm by Broadcom, citing concerns that the deal could pose a risk to national security.

In a major shake-up, US President Donald Trump has blocked the microchip maker Broadcom's proposal to takeover Qualcomm over security issues.

Additionally, the presidential order also disqualifies all of Broadcom's proposed directors for Qualcomm.

The order said "there is credible proof that leads to believe that if Broadcom Limited, an anonymous society under Singapore law, holds control over Qualcomm Incorporated it could introduce measures that threaten to harm U.S. national security".

And not everyone thinks the U.S. national security concerns over the deal are justified.

If Broadcom successfully relocates to the USA, it would escape the jurisdiction of CFIUS, but for the time being Trump's order has put a hard stop on the company's ambition to acquire Qualcomm in any case.

The rival chip giants were told to notify CFIUS in writing that all aspects of the order had been followed.

Broadcom's acquisition prospects likely start with Xilinx, "which appears well-aligned", B. Riley FBR analyst Craig Ellis said in a report.

GOP House committee finds no collusion with Russians
It is expected that Democrats may make " extensive changes " to the Republican-drafted report and likely issue their own version. Democrats erupted in anger after they were blindsided by the summary Republican officials released Monday.

In the light of a Bloomberg report that painted Broadcom as the likely victor of all six board seats it was seeking, Qualcomm was more than happy to reschedule its shareholder meeting to April 5. But the CEO of Broadcom is known for its persistence and improved its offer in the following months, trying to win over investors.

Concern over China's potential influence, and rising USA protectionist sentiment, hung over the Singaporean firm's hostile takeover bid. Bloomberg argues that Trump was concerned that a Broadcom takeover of Qualcomm would have allowed the Singapore-based company to weaken Qualcomm and therefore strengthen Huawei.

Earlier in the week, Qualcomm's request to the US Committee on Foreign Investment (USCFI) for a review of the bid was accepted just a couple of days before the fateful shareholder meeting, where the fate of Qualcomm was to be decided. While the United States remains dominant in the standards-setting space now, China would likely compete robustly to fill any void left by Qualcomm as a result of this hostile takeover.

Huawei is also Qualcomm's main rival when it comes to developing technology for the emerging 5G standard. Broadcom has previously competed against Qualcomm in multiple markets and some Broadcom customers, like Western Digital, didn't want to see the company merge with Qualcomm based on how badly Broadcom treated its own partners.

China aims to lead the world in 5G - a next-generation standard that will enable richer and faster video and open a whole new playground for mobile apps. Broadcom is in the process of reincorporating in San Jose, Calif.

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

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 rigor that the feds now "apply to military equipment traditionally".

"There will be drones and robots". Nearly every major business and consumer electronics manufacturer uses Qualcomm's technology as brains for their devices.

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