Broadcom withdraws and terminates Qualcomm offer

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(Nasdaq:MLNX) after its $117 billion takeover bid for Qualcomm was thwarted by US President Donald Trump in the name of national security.

Being based in the United States as opposed to Singapore will allow Broadcom to make what it believes will be acquisitions of USA companies that will not fall within the jurisdiction of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which scrutinises deals for potential national security concerns.

In the Broadcom-Qualcomm deal, the focus is on so-called "5G" wireless technology, which promises data speeds that rival those of landline broadband now. Morningstar analyst Brian Colello expects Broadcom to hunt for more deals once it moves to the U.S.

The probe is triggered whenever a foreign entity tries to become the new owner of a company that is largely based and operates in the USA, which fits this situation to a tee.

The Treasury argued that Broadcom has a history of acquiring companies, and then slashing their spending on new technologies.

CFIUS also notes that Chinese tech companies such as Huawei have already played a key role in developing 5G, and it would be unwise to let it or other Chinese telecoms have such a firm foothold in such a crucial upcoming technology.

A shareholder meeting was scheduled for earlier this month to vote on the new board, however this was delayed until next month at the request of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which can prevent business deals where it's deemed could harm national security.

Before Trump's order, Broadcom had planned to relocate its legal headquarters to the United States, avoiding the need for a CFIUS review.

Broadcom spent most of its $85,000 previous year on a Republican strategist based south of Austin, Texas, who was the company's only active lobbyist in the fourth quarter after Broadcom hired him in October. It requires Broadcom and Qualcomm to "immediately and permanently abandon the proposed takeover".

What's to stop Trump or the CFIUS from barring other companies from considering acquisitions from non-U.S. -based companies? The move followed a letter from the Committee on Foreign Investment, which said that letting a foreign company control Qualcomm would pose a security risk.

And it's not just China that could give shut American businesses out.

President Barack Obama in 2012 blocked a Delaware-based but Chinese-owned company named Ralls Corp. from owning four wind farms in OR near a Navy base in 2012.

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