A potential mega-merger between chipmaker Broadcom and US rival Qualcomm is likely to face stern scrutiny in China, antitrust lawyers say, amid a strategic push by Beijing into semiconductors.
Broadcom made an unsolicited US$103 billion bid for Qualcomm on Monday, November 6, aimed at creating a US$200-billion-plus behemoth that could reshape the industry at the heart of mobile phone hardware.
But Chinese regulatory approval could be a hold-up. Beijing and Washington have sparred over technology deals, including in chips, with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States knocking back a number of takeovers involving Chinese firms this year.
The thorny topic is likely to come up when US President Donald Trump visits China this week, with Qualcomm executives in tow.
The merger would face a lengthy review from the anti-monopoly unit of China’s commerce ministry, due to strategic concerns, the huge size of the deal and because Qualcomm has come under fire before in the country over competition concerns.
“This is a critical industry for China and Qualcomm has been fined by the Ministry of Commerce (Mofcom) before so it’s on its radar,” said Wendy Yan, Shanghai-based partner at law firm Faegre Baker Daniels.
Full Content: Financial Times