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Broadcom dangles 5G promise to save Qualcomm deal

08 March 2018

A U.S. government national security panel said it identified potential risks that warrant a full investigation of Singapore-based Broadcom Ltd.'s $117 billion bid for chipmaker Qualcomm Inc, a senior U.S. Treasury official said in a letter to the companies Monday.

Qualcomm's shareholders will no longer be meeting Tuesday to weigh in on Broadcom's unsolicited takeover bid for the USA chipmaker.

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which is now looking into whether a merger would harm national security, expressed concerns that a Broadcom takeover of Qualcomm would undermine USA efforts to stay ahead of China in the development of 5G tech.

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"We can not overstate the likely harm (from a Broadcom hostile takeover) that would result to Qualcomm, the USA company leading the development of 5G and other next-generation technologies, as well as to the United States security interests", said the Gallagher letter.

"This will ensure America's lead in future wireless technology", Broadcom said in its statement. 6, a move it has argued should not make it subject to a review on national security concerns.

Broadcom also took a swipe at Qualcomm's licensing business, which is a subject of dispute between the companies. The CFIUS letter noted that Broadcom has not elaborated on how it plans to change Qualcomm's licensing model, but appeared to side with Qualcomm's claim that its current model is needed to support R&D funding.

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In a statement, Broadcom said the Qualcomm takeover is aimed at increasing the company's focus on 5G cellular technologies.

The letter raised red flags about a Broadcom takeover possibly weakening Qualcomm long-term competitiveness in telecommunications technologies and standard setting - opening the door for Chinese companies such as Huawei to become dominant players in upcoming 5G networks.

U.S. 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. Qualcomm said it received the letter on Sunday. In the past dozen years, Broadcom has spent six times as much on acquisitions as it has on research and development. Harm to Qualcomm's innovation would allow China to expand its influence in key wireless technology, the government said.

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

Broadcom dangles 5G promise to save Qualcomm deal