Qualcomm Rules Out Another Bid for NXP After China Opens Door

Ann Santiago
December 5, 2018

Eight regulators around the world approved the Qualcomm-NXP deal, but Chinese regulators refused to wave it through. The scuppered deal was thought to be hurt by the China-US trade dispute.

In July, Qualcomm, which is based in California, confirmed that the company is terminating its proposed takeover of its rival NXP which is based in The Netherlands.

Steve Mollenkopf, CEO, Qualcomm, was quoted by sources to say that the failure of the deal was a side effect of the mounting tensions due to trade imbalance between the USA and China.

Talks between US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the recent G20 summit in Argentina led to a softening in the relationship and a standstill agreement in the trade war while negotiations continue. "Qualcomm considers the matter closed and is fully focused on continuing to execute on its 5G roadmap".

The acquisition deal between Qualcomm and NXP, worth $ 44 billion, ceased earlier this year because China did not grant timely approval.

NXP did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment on Monday.

Qualcomm said in a court hearing that Apple is $7 billion behind in patent royalty payments to the company, that supplie parts for the iPhone.

As of this writing, it is still not clear whether Qualcomm and NXP will pursue the merger again. Qualcomm has a large presence in China so they were not left with any real options except to cancel the deal. It has spent more than US$20 billion in share buybacks in the last 12 months.

A Qualcomm representative didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Post rejection of their offer, Qualcomm has already paid a hefty $2 Billion to NXP for terminating the offer and announced a $30 billion stock repurchase plan to help soothe investor sentiments. The deal eventually failed in July after a regulatory deadline passed without approval from China's State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR), which oversees antitrust regulation in the country.

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