Broadcom sends letter to US Congress, denies national security concerns

10 March, 2018, 01:05 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Broadcom's buyout of Qualcomm is likely to see even more delays

The announcement comes two days after the government sent Broadcom and Qualcomm a letter outlining reservations about a potential tie-up between the two chip makers.

Key quote: "Broadcom is committed to making the United States the global leader in 5G".

Broadcom's $117 billion bid for Qualcomm has warped into a complex fight over regulatory approvals, security nerves about China's influence on global mobile networks and the best way forward financially for one of the world's dominant chipmakers.

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Lawyers that specialize in advising companies on CFIUS matters have been debating this week whether Broadcom's bid would be subject to a CFIUS review once it redomiciles. This meeting will be held on March 23, the company said.

"Broadcom will not only maintain the R & D resources Qualcomm devotes to 5G and innovation in future wireless standards - we also will focus R & D spend to those critical technologies that are essential to the USA", the company said in a statement. The job of CFIUS is to review acquisitions of USA companies by foreign entities to assess potential national security implications.

Broadcom has a message for U.S. regulators: We'll make 5G technology a priority and invest in America if you let our bid for Qualcomm go through.

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A weakened Qualcomm could hand over 5G telecommunications prowess to Huawei Technologies and perhaps other Chinese companies, which have been investing heavily to gain a beach head in 5G technology ahead of the transition from 4G networks. The review of Broadcom's bid illustrates the US government's expanding focus on the competitiveness of the national semiconductor industry as China advances.

"Broadcom will not only maintain the R&D resources Qualcomm devotes to 5G and innovation in future wireless standards - we will also focus R&D spend to those critical technologies that are essential to the US", Broadcom said on Wednesday.

"Ninety percent of Broadcom's shareholders are in the United States; in fact, we are largely owned by the same United States institutional investors that own Qualcomm".

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Enderle questioned what is driving Broadcom to make its hostile takeover bid and said US regulators should work to see who might be behind the push, a question he said is of more importance than 5G. "This means whatever Broadcom pays, the value of what they will get will be a fraction of that".

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