Broadcom's efforts to acquire Qualcomm emerged as one of last year's most controversial business moves in mobile tech. Already both major players on the semiconductor scene, the idea of them condensing down to one firm fueled fears of monopoly-building. Even as Qualcomm rejected Broadcom's offers, the company didn't back down, and earlier this month we learned of plans to stack Qualcomm's board with some voices more amenable to the acquisition. Now, though, that's all a moot point, following an order from President Trump blocking the proposed takeover. Today Broadcom acknowledges that development with word that it's withdrawn its Qualcomm offer.
Unsurprisingly, Broadcom expresses its disappointment with its inability to proceed, but nevertheless acquiesces to the order. The company additionally notes that it's backing down with its list of nominees for Qualcomm board positions—a move no longer needed with the buyout plans now canceled (and also one also explicitly banned by this week's order).
While this sure feels like a major setback for Broadcom's future plans, the company is still moving forward with another big change, as it reaffirms its intent to continue with redomiciliation plans, moving its headquarters back to the States. Last we heard, that was on track to be completed by April 3.
That move was previously framed as an attempt to side-step U.S. security concerns over a foreign-run company taking control of a chip-maker as big as Qualcomm. Even with the Qualcomm deal not happening, that move could still enhance Broadcom's position for future acquisition attempts, reducing the level of scrutiny any such deals are likely to face.
Qualcomm, meanwhile, has not said much since the release of Trump's order, short of acknowledging its receipt. Both Qualcomm and Broadcom are slated to hold stockholder meetings late next week, where you can sure bet these recent developments will be on the agenda.