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Qualcomm deal victim of U.S.-China trade tensions

by Les Sillars
Posted 7/26/18, 12:07 pm

San Diego–based Qualcomm, the world’s biggest smartphone chipmaker, on Wednesday dropped its $44 billion bid to buy Dutch chipmaker NXP Semiconductors after Chinese authorities declined to approve the deal. China, the world’s largest market for chips and smartphones, was the last of nine markets needed to approve the merger. The deal is considered a high-profile victim of the rising trade tensions between the United States and China.

Qualcomm applied for the anti-monopoly review in China before Beijing’s trade dispute with U.S. President Donald Trump blew up. The United States says China steals or forces foreign companies to hand over technology. “As far as I know,” a spokesman for China’s commerce ministry said, “the case is an anti-monopoly law enforcement issue and has nothing to do with Chinese-U.S. trade friction.” Chinese merger regulators had already signed off on the deal, unnamed sources told Bloomberg News, but the government never gave final authorization. The uncertainty created by this deal’s collapse is likely to discourage other technology companies from following up on merger plans, Bloomberg noted.

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Les Sillars

Les directs the journalism program at Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Va., and is WORLD Magazine’s Mailbag editor.

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