Trump Blocks Broadcom’s Bid for Qualcomm | News & Opinion


The Trump administration on Monday blocked Broadcom’s bid to acquire Qualcomm, citing national security threats.

There is credible evidence that leads me to believe that Broadcom…through exercising control of Qualcomm…might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States,” President Trump wrote in an presidential order.

The proposed takeover of Qualcomm by [Broadcom] is prohibited, and any substantially equivalent merger, acquisition, or takeover, whether effected directly or indirectly, is also prohibited,” Trump wrote.

The move comes after the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) within the Treasury Department ordered Qualcomm to postpone its annual stockholders meeting and election of directors by 30 days so CFIUS could “investigate fully Broadcom’s proposed acquisition of Qualcomm.”

The candidates Broadcom put forth to join Qualcomm’s board, in a bid for a hostile takeover, are “disqualified from standing for election as directors of Qualcomm,” Trump added.

Qualcomm has thus far rejected Broadcom’s initial $105 billion offer and its more recent $121 billion bid. Broadcom later lowered that $121 billion bid to $117 billion, or $79 per share, after Qualcomm moved to acquire NXP for $44 billion.

Broadcom is based in Singapore, but as the New York Times notes, the administration is concerned that allowing the Broadcom-Qualcomm deal will give China a leg up in the glocal semiconductor market. Broadcom has been planning to relocate to the US for some time, an effort it recently tried to speed up in a bid to avoid CFIUS scrutiny, according to Bloomberg.

In November, Trump championed Broadcom’s planned move to the US.

Broadcom Limited is a 100 — Fortune 100 company — one of the really great, great companies. They manufacture technology and parts. They employ over 7,500 American workers in many states across our country. And we’re looking forward to seeing that number grow very substantially, which it’s now anticipated to do,” Trump said at the time. “Their move back to the United States and to the United States is something very, very special and very important. And you’ve been seeing this happen with numerous companies and, at a minimum, expansions and sometimes plants.”

The competitive threat of a combined Qualcomm-Broadcom was worrying enough to Intel that it was reportedly considering its own bid for Broadcom, The Wall Street Journal reported last week.

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