Broadcom promises on security, Qualcomm revamps board

Broadcom promises on security, Qualcomm revamps board

To assuage that claim, Broadcom has announced that it will pledge to make the "US the global leader in 5G" if it acquires Qualcomm - Broadcom is now domiciled in Singapore, but is looking to finalize reincorporation in the United States in the second quarter.

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the USA delayed a shareholder meeting that had threatened to hand Broadcom control of the Qualcomm board and, among other things, said lower R&D spending would weaken US-based Qualcomm against Chinese companies.

In the response, Broadcom pledged on Wednesday to maintain Qualcomm's R&D spending on 5G, and to create a new $1.5 billion fund to train and educate the next generation of engineers in the US.

Lawyers that specialize in advising companies on CFIUS matters have been debating this week whether Broadcom's bid would be subject to a CFIUS review once it redomiciles.

Qualcomm's shares ended trading Wednesday up 35 cents at $62.49. "Any notion that a combined Broadcom-Qualcomm would slash funding or cede leadership in 5G is completely unfounded".

"It is not the 5G investment that the US government should be concerned about", said McGregor.

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"Hostile takeovers typically destroy the viability of the acquired asset because they are massively disruptive and the acquired employees aren't slaves and will oppose the new management", he said.

CFIUS plans to further assess the proposed acquisition to evaluate the potential security threat.

"We believe it will be a stretch for CFIUS to claim Broadcom remains foreign-controlled after (the headquarters move) is completed, though CFIUS may of course try", said Bernstein Research Analyst Stacy Rasgon.

Over the weekend, the government asked Qualcomm, which is based in San Diego, to delay its annual shareholder meeting by 30 days as it conducts its review. Shareholders are voting on whether to replace six Qualcomm board members with Broadcom nominated candidates - which would give Broadcom a board majority. It also noted that Qualcomm is facing scrutiny from regulators around the world about what some say are anticompetitive licensing agreements that the company uses to fund its R&D investments.

CFIUS's intervention at this early stage is rare.

In a letter to Qualcomm, CFIUS said it was concerned that the deal posed a threat to USA national security.

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