Why CFIUS Is Intervening in Broadcom's Qualcomm Bid


Qualcomm shareholders were schedule to vote on Broadcom's nominees on Tuesday, but Qualcomm postponed its annual meeting until April 5 after the CFIUS said it wanted more time to evaluate Broadcom's takeover proposal.

Mir also cited concerns about Broadcom's relationships with foreign entities, without elaborating on who they might be.

Qualcomm just concluded its 5G day in San Diego, California, where it showed off a number of new demos showcasing what the new Snapdragon 845 can do. Qualcomm said it received the letter on Sunday.

The Committee is particularly concerned that if Qualcomm does not maintain its position as one of the top investors in semiconductor research, it could lose its leading position in helping to determine global industry standards.

United States regulators have cited concerns over China's influence on the 5G standard-setting process in announcing an investigation into Singapore-based Broadcom's hostile takeover of Qualcomm.

Broadcom, which previously blasted Qualcomm for voluntarily seeking a CFIUS review, has nominated six alternative candidates to Qualcomm's 11 member board of directors in hopes of pushing forward its $117 acquisition.

Today (7 March), Broadcom issued a pledge to keep the U.S. at the forefront of emerging mobile technology like 5G if it were to acquire Qualcomm in an effort to dispel worries.

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For more than three years, Qualcomm's stock has been weighed down while the stock market overall has soared.

In the letter, Treasury officials said Broadcom could take a "private equity" style direction if it acquires Qualcomm, which means reducing long-term investments, such as research and development, and focusing on short-term profitability, the letter said.

An investigation by the CFIUS into a deal that has been proposed, but not yet completed, is highly unusual, and underscores the US' concerns about maintaining its dominance in semiconductors in the face of advances by China. Broadcom has not been specific in its plans for patent licensing other than to say the business model is broken.

There's been yet another twist in the ongoing saga of Broadcom's attempt to take over Qualcomm. In a statement published Wednesday, the company hit back against the CFIUS statement and Qualcomm, while also offering an olive branch to try and appease regulators. "Limitation or cessation of supply of Qualcomm products or services to the United States government could have a detrimental impact on national security".

"Broadcom is pledging to create a new $1.5 billion fund with a focus on innovation to train and educate the next generation of engineers in the U.S. This will ensure America's lead in future wireless technology", the company said in a statement.

Qualcomm's shares slipped 41 cents to $64.33, while Broadcom's were down $1.46 at $249.41.