Broadcom withdraws $117-billion Qualcomm bid after Trump nixes deal


The US government's reason for nixing the Broadcom acquisition involved concerns that it could harm America's lead in developing 5G wireless technology and allow China to seize control.

On Monday President Donald Trump, by signing an executive order to block the deal, effectively said, "over my dead body".

Trump's order trumps any plans to make the acquisition a reality because of the possible national security threats.

"Over time that would mean the USA government and US technology companies could lose a trusted USA 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. But are they as compelling as the one that got away? He said: "This decision is based on the facts and national security sensitivities related to this particular transaction only".

Part of a war: DealBook notes that the dropped deal could place Qualcomm in the midst of fierce governmental protectionism.

The Presidential order is seen as a move to shelter U.S. companies from foreign competition.

Though Qualcomm escaped a hostile bid by Broadcom, it still faces serious issues with its licensing practices and the European Commission.

Broadcom continued to insist on an acquisition and had planned to replace much of Qualcomm's board in a bid to sway the decisionmaking process. That would have seen him losing his director seat.

CFIUS on March 4 ordered Qualcomm to postpone a shareholder meeting to vote on Broadcom's nominees as directors of the target. Even at the reduced $79 per share level that's still a 32% premium on today's opening Qualcomm share price, which fell by a few percent after the Trump intervention. "He's of the view that there is a lot of value to be extracted from this industry", said Bernstein analyst Stacy Rasgon.

The company launched its bid for the takeover back in November of past year and was spontaneously and repeatedly rejected by Qualcomm's board and management.