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Trump Precedent Won't Chill M&A

Broadcom/Qualcomm decision seen as a first

SAN JOSE, Calif. , Mar. 14, 2018 – The Trump Administration set a new precedent by prohibiting Broadcom's hostile takeover of Qualcomm before shareholders got a vote. Analysts were mixed over whether such executive power is a good thing, but they agreed that the semiconductor industry – and Broadcom – will continue to pursue big deals.

Trump blocked an acquisition of Lattice in September, "but this was a much smaller deal and the private-equity company behind the deal had China backing," noted Kevin Krewell of Tirias Research.

The latest move pre-empted both a proxy vote and a planned investigation from the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., although a letter from CFIUS signaled its strong concerns about a loss of 5G cellular technology with the deal.

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