- The Washington Times - Monday, March 12, 2018

President Trump Monday night blocked Broadcom’s purchase of Qualcomm, a $117 billion bid that would have been the biggest-ever technology takeover.

“The proposed takeover of Qualcomm by the purchaser is prohibited, and any substantially equivalent merger, acquisition, or takeover, whether effected directly or indirectly, is also prohibited,” the White House said in a presidential order.

It was the latest aggressive move by Mr. Trump to protect U.S. business from foreign competitors, with an eye toward what the president has called unfair trade practices by China.

The president followed a recommendation by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) that Singapore-based Broadcom’s takeover of the U.S. semiconductor and telecom equipment maker posed a national security threat.

The concern was that allowing a foreign takeover of a U.S. high-tech firm would strengthen China’s hand in competition for technology.

Last week, Mr. Trump announced big tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. He also cited national security concerns while singling out China to criticize for dumping subsidized steel in the U.S. market.

The Treasury alerted Broadcom to the recommendation in a letter Sunday.

“The investigation has so far confirmed the national security concerns,” it said. “In the absence of information that changes CFIUS’s assessment of the national security risks posed by this transaction, CFIUS would consider taking further action, including but not limited to referring the transaction to the president for decision.”

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