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Broadcom's buyout of Qualcomm bogs down as DC blocks merger

'Great, great company' to 'security risk' in six months

The White House crushed Broadcom's bid for Qualcomm, declaring the deal cannot go due to national security concerns.

An executive order, handed down by the Trump administration on Monday, says that at the urging of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, the President has decided to prohibit the deal and to block all 15 of Broadcom's nominees for Qualcomm's board of directors.

"There is credible evidence that leads me to believe that Broadcom Limited ... through exercising control of Qualcomm Incorporated … might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States," president Trump's order stated.

Broadcom did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The House Committee has reviewed the deal since late February 2018 over worries that a merger between the two companies would give foreign control to vital parts of the US telecoms market.

Broadcom, based in Singapore, is in the process of moving its base of operations to the US. Earlier today, the company sped up the clock on the move, promising to legally reside in the US full-time by April 3 (and no longer be subject to CFIUS scrutiny).

When the company announced its intention to make the move, Trump felt it was a great idea, saying that Broadcom was "one of the really great, great companies," and CEO Hock Tan was "a highly, highly respected man, a great, great executive."

Broadcom's efforts, however, was apparently not enough to convince the Committee, which in turn recommended to the President that the takeover effort be called off.

Although Broadcom shares were holding steady in the wake of the announcement, investors were less enthusiastic about Qualcomm's chances, and shares dropped 4.5 per cent after hours. ®

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