Trump pressure scuppers $140bn chipmaker takeover


Qualcomm's widespread lobbying operation marked a sharp contrast with the effort made by Singapore-based Broadcom, which instead sought to curry favor with President Donald Trump and offered to move its headquarters to the U.S. That was in exchange for winning approval for its purchase of Brocade Communications Systems Inc.

But the United States is anxious that a takeover would dramatically reduce investment and research at Qualcomm, giving an advantage to China. He said the two companies must "immediately and permanently abandon the proposed takeover".

The inter-agency panel, led by the Treasury Department, scrutinizes deals that could give foreign firms control of United States companies.

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"The case against the acquisition is inherently tied to the argument that the transaction could adversely impact USA control of the pace and progress of the development of 5G technologies", he said. That could leave the USA hobbled in the race to develop next generation, 5G wireless technology, according to people familiar with the matter.

Had it gone through, the acquisition would have been the largest technology deal in history.

Congress issued a critical report on the Chinese tech firm in 2012 that effectively shut it out of the U.S. market.

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"Over time that would mean US government and USA technology companies could lose a trusted US supplier that does not present the same national security counterintelligence risk that a Chinese supplier does", said Brian Fleming, an attorney at Miller & Chevalier and former counsel at the Justice Department's national security division. Analyst B. Riley cites Mellanox as a possible acquisition, although adds that the Israeli company might be too small. A spokesperson for Huawei did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday. The upcoming development of a 5G network has been such a high-profile nat-sec issue that the White House floated a trial balloon on nationalizing it a few weeks ago.

Compared to earlier generations of wireless technology, "we're seeing China emerge and start to play a bigger role in the standards developing process", Erensen said.

Tan has already turned Avago, a small chipmaker with a market value of US$3.5 billion in 2009, into a more than US$100 billion company. "He's of the view that there is a lot of value to be extracted from this industry", said Bernstein analyst Stacy Rasgon. It also said it would also create a new $1.5 billion fund to train engineers in the country.

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"The cases [against the deal] as laid out feel very weak to us, but politics is politics", Rasgon wrote earlier in March.