Tuesday, 22 May, 2018

Trump Blocks Biggest Tech Deal In History Over National Security Risks

President Trump says Broadcom must pull out of attempt to buy Qualcomm Qualcomm Incorporated - QCOM - Stock Price Today - Zacks
Laurie Berry | 13 March, 2018, 09:47

President Trump issued an order prohibiting Broadcom's attempt to take over San Diego-based Qualcomm, CNBC and Bloomberg reported Monday. At least half a dozen technology deals have collapsed during the Trump administration in the face of concerns raised by CFIUS.

Federal regulators last week ordered a delay in a vote by Qualcomm stockholders over a proposed sale to Singapore-based Broadcom, with some members of Congress expressing concerns about a foreign interest controlling a domestic firm that performs "sensitive work" on behalf of the USA government.

"Qualcomm has become well-known to, and trusted by, the USA government", said Deputy Assistant Secretary for Investment Security Aimen Mir. More interesting news about QUALCOMM Incorporated (NASDAQ:QCOM) were released by: Streetinsider.com and their article: "Form 425 QUALCOMM INC/DE Filed by: Broadcom Ltd" published on March 12, 2018 as well as Reuters.com's news article titled: "Broadcom calls Qualcomm's offer for price talks "engagement theater" with publication date: February 26, 2018. Aimen Mir, a top Treasury Department official serving on CFIUS, sent a letter earlier this month voicing those concerns to attorneys representing both companies.

Although the particular deal is complicated by the fact that Broadcom is based in Singapore, the more important issue is actually to have companies in the USA "get stronger and stronger" rather than getting diluted by the combination of two very large companies, Krosby told CNBC.

Broadcom downplayed chances that the CFIUS investigation (which began last week) might disrupt a potential deal.

Following Trump's executive order, CFIUS has postponed the shareholder vote as it investigates the transaction. Broadcom had announced the move in November after Tan met with Trump at the White House. It also has classified contracts with the Department of Defense, according to the Treasury Department. "They would just have to buy Huawei (equipment)".

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"I'm particularly glad Broadcom's proposed candidates are prohibited from running for election to Qualcomm's board of directors".

Broadcom said in a statement late Monday that it is reviewing the order and that it "strongly disagrees that its proposed acquisition of Qualcomm raises any national security concerns". The company has relied on cost cuts from acquisitions to propel its profit higher and most likely would have needed to cut deeply at Qualcomm to maintain its investment-grade credit rating at the latest proposed $79-a-share bid.

"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.

Huawei has a dominant position in China, which is set to become the world's biggest 5G market by far, and has also made inroads in the rest of world to compete with rivals such as Ericsson and Nokia in several lucrative markets, including countries that are longstanding US allies.

While Broadcom shares were holding steady in the wake of the announcement, investors were less enthusiastic about Qualcomm's chances, and shares dropped 4.5 per cent after hours.

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