Qualcomm-NXP Deal Probe Canceled Again By EU Regulators

September 6, 2017 - Written By Manny Reyes

Antitrust regulators in Europe have again called off its investigation of Qualcomm’s move to acquire NXP Semiconductors for $38 billion as both parties have failed to submit a complete set of information required by the European Union to issue its decision on the deal. According to a new report by Reuters, this is the second time that EU regulators have canceled their review of the acquisition bid by the American semiconductor and telecommunications equipment firm.

The investigation kicked off in June with the goal of ensuring that end users will continue to benefit from innovative products at competitive price points, according to Margrethe Vestager, who oversees the review on behalf of the European Commission. It was meant to focus on how the acquisition might affect competition in the semiconductor industry, whether it could lead to increased semiconductor prices and what its impact on innovation might be. Qualcomm needs to fulfill the requirements set by the EU antitrust regulators if it wants the deal to push through, though it is not immediately clear when the next review would happen. The regulators halted the investigation after Qualcomm previously refused to make concessions as part of the compliance standards for the deal to be approved. Concessions are a crucial part of a deal to convince regulators that it is not anti-competitive in nature.

The San Diego, California-based company announced its plan to purchase Eindhoven, Netherlands-based NXP Semiconductors in October of last year, the largest semiconductor bid of its kind so far. The regulatory challenge Qualcomm is facing is seen as a necessary measure since NXP is one of its closest competitors, and now it is close to acquiring it. Nevertheless, Qualcomm managed to gain approval from antitrust regulators in the United States in April of this year for its plan to buy NXP Semiconductors, allowing the deal to move forward with no further regulatory restraints in the country. It is likely that the EU competition regulators could issue the same verdict on Qualcomm’s bid once both parties submit the necessary information to the antitrust watchdog in Europe. More updates about this matter are expected to follow in the coming months.