Trump blocks Broadcom's Dollars 117 billion bid to buy Qualcomm

17 March, 2018, 01:39 | Author: Barbara Daniel
  • Blocked Broadcom Deal May Stunt Chinese Silicon Valley Investment

Relying on a recommendation from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) and citing national security concerns, President Trump's action marks only the fifth time in the last 30 years that a USA president has blocked foreign investment in the United States for national security reasons. In a presidential order, the president Mr. Trump told that reliable evidence led him to accept that if the Singapore-based Broadcom were given control of the Qualcomm, it might take action, which threatens in impairing the United States' national security.

With the Oval Office killing the deal, Broadcom officially cancelled its bid on Wednesday and withdrew from a proxy war to fill Qualcomm's board of directors with its roster of nominees.

The CFIUS had concluded that Broadcom's proposed takeover of Qualcomm could pose a risk to the national security of the USA, the Treasury Department said in a letter last week.

Decision by the President for forbidding the blockbuster agreement underscored the lengths and is willing to go for sheltering the Americans companies from the foreign competition. The deal would make Broadcom the third-biggest maker of microchips, behind only Intel and Samsung.

The move by Trump came despite efforts by Broadcom and its chief executive, Hock Tan, to win over the White House, even before the hostile takeover bid was announced.

The order quashing the Broadcom-Qualcomm deal is being met with a wide range of reactions.

Trump had instructed Broadcom to back off after a US panel charged with reviewing foreign acquisitions of domestic companies suggested that the deal could impede American technological competitiveness.

Wednesday's move is a formality since the presidential order issued Monday had ensured the deal would be killed in any USA regulatory review. In short, Broadcom had made it clear that it planned to focus on Qualcomm's past patents instead of producing new technology with the company's resources. But the steps against Broadcom weren't usual as the mergers are rarely killed before the shareholders of a publically traded company are given the opportunity for making a decision on the proposal for them.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was quick to clarify the decision, stating Trump's order was strictly "based on the facts and national security sensitivities" related to the transaction and not meant to "make any other statement about Broadcom or its employees".

"Such a company, if subjected to national or terrorist interests adverse to America, could install lockout features to block our security agencies from monitoring mobile data".

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