REALITY TV STAR and US president Donald Trump has blocked Broadcom's planned $117bn takeover of Qualcomm citing national security concerns.
The executive order, released on Monday, abruptly ends Broadcom's four-month plight to buy Qualcomm, a deal that would have been the largest ever completed in the technology industry.
Announcing the move, Trump claims "credible evidence" shows that the proposed deal "threatens to impair the national security of the US".
He didn't elaborate, but last week the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) warned that a deal, if successful, could lead to China becoming dominant in the development of 5G, which "would have substantial negative security consequences for the United States."
"While the United States remains dominant in the standards-setting space currently, China would likely compete robustly to fill any void left by Qualcomm as a result of this hostile takeover," CFIUS added, voicing concerns that a Broadcom/Qualcomm merger could offer an advantage to China's Huawei.
Earlier this month, in response to those fears, Broadcom announced the creation of a $1.5bn fund "to ensure US leadership in future wireless technology." Broadcom also promised not to sell off any "critical national security assets" to foreign firms.
It's also believed that Trump's order follows concerns that Broadcom was not fully cooperating with an investigation into the deal by federal regulators, as a US Treasury Department letter suggests.
Trump's order concludes: "The Purchaser and Qualcomm shall immediately and permanently abandon the proposed takeover.
"The proposed takeover of Qualcomm by the Purchaser is prohibited, and any substantially equivalent merger, acquisition, or takeover, whether effected [sic] directly or indirectly, is also prohibited.
Broadcom said it was reviewing the presidential order, noting that it "strongly disagrees that its proposed acquisition of Qualcomm raises any national security concerns."
Qualcomm has yet to comment, but will no doubt be celebrating the news after rebuffing multiple offers from Broadcom claiming they "undervalue" the company and its "leadership position in mobile technology".
Trump's decision to block the merger comes amid rumours that Intel is said to be considering making a bid for Broadcom.
While the WSJ claimed that Intel was considering making a bid in order to thwart Broadcom's now-obstructed Qualcomm takeover, the report added that chipmaker might purchase Broadcom regardless of whether it succeeds in its planned acquisition. µ
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