The White House puts the kibosh on Broadcom’s purchase of Qualcomm

After months of Broadcom trying to take over Qualcomm, the White House threw down the hammer by putting an end to the proposed deal.

March 14, 2018

For the last few months, Singapore-based semiconductor company Broadcom and US chipmaker Qualcomm have been entrenched in a hostile takeover. 

Last November, Broadcom made a steep, unsolicited $103B offer to acquire Qualcomm. Qualcomm said “try again,” and the past few months have seen a dizzying back and forth, made all the more complicated by similar-sounding names.

Then, on Monday, just when it looked like a deal (which would’ve been the largest in tech history) was finally going to happen, the White House blocked Broadcom’s proposed $117B purchase, citing “credible evidence” that it would “impair the national security of the United States.”

5G: it’s gettin’ real…

And Qualcomm and Broadcom are both working center stage in the race to develop the ultra-fast broadband tech. 

But, had the deal gone through, Broadcom would’ve secured $100B in debt, and the US was worried the debt to finance a takeover would force them to squeeze profit out of Qualcomm elsewhere, taking their eye off the 5G prize and making way for Chinese competitors like Huawei — one of the world’s largest telecom companies — to gain ground.

Welp, ya don’t see that everyday

The deal hadn’t even officially been agreed on, meaning the government stepped in to prevent a deal that essentially didn’t exist. 

It’s an unprecedented power move by the US gov — and it shows the Trump administration isn’t taking any chances on deals that could dilute American tech companies, or give China a leg up in the global tech race.

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