Broadcom's Hostile Takeover Attempt Of Qualcomm Considered A National Security Risk

President Trump “US Technology is Not for Sale

San Francisco: US President Donald Trump blocked an unsolicited bid by Singapore-based Broadcom to take over smartphone chipmaker Qualcomm, citing national security concerns.

But the United States is anxious that a takeover would dramatically reduce investment and research at Qualcomm, giving an advantage to China.

As such, Broadcom and Qualcomm "shall immediately and permanently abandon the proposed takeover", Trump ordered.

The company also appreciated the statement from the US Treasury Secretary and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US (CFIUS) chair Steven Mnuchin on March 12. Fears that Broadcom would wind down Qualcomm's wireless R&D led the Committee on Foreign Investment in the USA, or CFIUS, to warn against the deal, which in turn prompted Trump to intervene. A Qualcomm acquisition would have amounted to the largest technology deal in history. Companies including Qualcomm and China's Huawei have been investing heavily to stake their claim in the underlying technology.

Brent Iadarola, Frost & Sullivan's vice president of mobile and wireless communications, tells Channel Partners the administration's stance is distinctly based on national security sensitivities, so "I can't envision any scenario where this transaction is brought to fruition while Trump is in office".

Senator John Cornyn of Texas is sponsoring a bill to expand the authority of a national security panel to further restrict foreign investments viewed as threats.

Congress issued a critical report on the Chinese tech firm in 2012 that effectively shut it out of the U.S. market.

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"Over time that would mean the USA government and US technology companies could lose a trusted US supplier that does not present the same national-security counterintelligence risk that a Chinese supplier does", said Brian Fleming, an attorney at Miller & Chevalier and former counsel at the Justice Department's national security division.

The Chinese company has described the allegations as "baseless".

Trump may not get to build the network himself, but he's sure not going to leave it to China to build it for us.

"Given well-known USA national security concerns about Huawei and other Chinese telecommunications companies, a shift to Chinese dominance in 5G would have substantial negative security consequences for the United States".

Broadcom had vowed earlier this month that it would make the United States "the global leader in 5G".

But that wasn't enough to convince Trump.

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