President Donald Trump Just Killed Broadcom's Proposed Takeover of Qualcomm


President Donald Trump late today quashed Broadcom Ltd.'s $121 billion hostile bid to buy Qualcomm Inc., effectively ending a deal that would have upended the semiconductor industry.

Separately, Broadcom said it is reviewing the order, and that it strongly disagrees that its proposed acquisition of Qualcomm raises any national security concerns.

The news extends President Trump's tough stance on foreign investment in America. The decision to block the deal was unveiled just hours after Hock Tan, the chief executive officer of Singapore-based Broadcom, met with officials at the Pentagon in a last-ditch effort to salvage the transaction.

The President cited national security concerns in a White House statement, which read in part, "There is credible evidence that leads me to believe that Broadcom Limited, a limited company organized under the laws of Singapore (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". From 2013 to 2015, the latest years for which the committee has made data public, about 20 per cent of the deals that CFIUS reviewed involved investors from China.

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Stepping into the increasingly wild saga that has been Broadcom's efforts to purchase Qualcomm, the USA government is now weighing in by issuing a new order to block the merger of the two companies.

"Broadcom, which is in all important respects a US company, has been repeatedly approved by CFIUS in its previous acquisitions of USA companies", the company said in its statement, "and has always engaged productively with CFIUS to ensure USA national security is protected". The letter from CFIUS accused Singapore-based Broadcom of repeatedly violating one of the panel's orders. Both companies are required to go through and finalize the process that signifies the proposed takeover has been abandoned, which includes getting a written certification that such a deal has been stopped. Furthermore the candidates that Broadcom was running for Qualcomm's board of directors are barred from participating in that election, and Qualcomm can not accept their nominations.

Broadcom in the past week has been aggressively pushing back on concerns that it has any plans to hamper Qualcomm's research and development investments.

This weekend, before Trump's order, Mir wrote the same lawyers again, this time to note that the CFIUS investigation "has so far confirmed the national security concerns" identified in his earlier letter. While Broadcom may be blocked from purchasing Qualcomm, the door is still open for Intel to acquire the company. Following a Cfius review, the United States stopped Moneygram's sale to an affiliate of China's internet conglomerate Alibaba Group and the sale of Lattice Semiconductor to an investment firm with ties to the Chinese government.

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Broadcom has been maneuvering to perform a hostile takeover of Qualcomm offering $121 billion for the company. Jack Ma's pledge to create 1 million didn't help his Ant Financial's attempted takeover of MoneyGram International Inc., which collapsed amid CFIUS opposition.

"The president has been very clear about wanting to take care of competition within the United States and having tech companies stronger and stronger", she added.

CFIUS also said that Qualcomm has a number of military contracts with the US Department of Defense.

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