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Trump Blocks Biggest Tech Deal In History Over National Security Risks

One of the biggest deals in tech history may be in trouble – US President Trump has issued an executive order blocking Broadcom’s US$117 billion hostile takeover of Qualcomm, citing national security risks.

According to Bloomberg, President Trump’s executive order follows the recommendation of the ‘Committee on Foreign Investment in the US’ (CFIUS), which analyses the purchase of American companies by international investors.

Trump’s scuttling of the Broadcom/Qualcomm deal reportedly comes just hours after Broadcom’s CEO, Hock Tan, met with Pentagon officials to save the transaction.

In the released executive order, President Trump affirms “credible evidence” exists, which suggests Broadcom “might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States”, following the acquisition of Qualcomm.

The US Treasury Department (which leads CFIUS) claims the Broadcom/Qualcomm threatens Qualcomm’s future leadership within the next generation of wireless technology.

The US government is reportedly concerned Broadcomm could cut R&D investment, thereby increasing the likelihood of Asian companies rising to dominant supplier status.

The news extends President Trump’s tough stance on foreign investment in America. At least six technology-related deals have reportedly fallen through during Trump’s administration, following concerns from CFIUS.

Broadcomm is currently moving its HQ from Singapore to the United States, where it aims to obtain majority control of Qualcomm’s board, and advance its hostile takeover.

Following Trump’s executive order, CFIUS has postponed the shareholder vote as it investigates the transaction.

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