After a long-haul in the acquisition deal between NXP and Qualcomm, China is known to have finally approved Qualcomm’s $43Bn takeover of NXP Semiconductors.
There is said to be a scheduled meet between the two companies somewhere in this week in Beijing.
According to reports, the deal will only be heralded if it gets assurances that the U.S. will lift a seven-year ban on homegrown telecoms giant ZTE Corp., people familiar with the matter said.
Senior officials said that it will be giving a green-light for approval of a deal that’s been pending for 18 months, with an announcement possible any time.
China’s review of Qualcomm’s largest-ever acquisition has languished amid an escalating trade fight between the world’s two largest economies, fueling concern that the NXP deal might become a bargaining chip.
At the same time, Beijing wants ZTE freed up to buy the U.S. chips and components it needs to make networking gear and smartphones.
Since the transaction was first announced October 2016, the bid’s been sweetened, got caught up in Broadcom Inc.’s failed hostile bid for Qualcomm, then got dragged into the trade dispute. Local companies had also expressed concern the combined entity would extend Qualcomm’s patent licensing business into areas such as mobile payments and autonomous driving.
Completing the NXP transaction however is a top priority for Qualcomm, after its defense against Broadcom forced management to extend commitments on future business expansion and earnings. San Diego-based Qualcomm’s seeking to reduce its dependence on a slowing smartphone market, while competitors and customers fight to overturn its dominance.
Responsibility for antitrust matters in China has been transferred to the State Administration for Market Regulation from the Ministry of Commerce.