Qualcomm announced that it would acquire NXP Semiconductors back in 2016. With a date of July 25th at 11:59PM EST, to finish the deal. However, the merger needs approval from various antitrust regulators in various regions around the world. The US and Europe have both approved the deal, however, China has not. And Qualcomm has just a few days left to get China on-board, or the deal will be called off. So far, Qualcomm has not called for an extension to this deadline, and it's looking like it might not happen.
It's a bit strange that Qualcomm needs China's approval to purchase NXP, considering Qualcomm is an American company, and NXP is a Dutch company. But since both companies operate in the largest market for semiconductors, China, the merger does need its approval. When Qualcomm announced the merger nearly two years ago, the company told its investors that acquiring NXP would make it easier to diversify into other areas. The main reason for purchasing NXP was to get into the automotive market for chipsets, which is growing quite rapidly right now. Shortly after Qualcomm had decided to purchase NXP, Broadcom decided to try and take over Qualcomm in a hostile bid. Broadcom's bid was ultimately shot down when President Trump signed an executive order keeping Broadcom from purchasing a US company – at the time Broadcom was still technically a Chinese company, even though it was moving its headquarters back to the US.
About a year ago, it seemed that Qualcomm was buying NXP, and Broadcom was buying Qualcomm, bringing some of the biggest chip makers in the world, all under one umbrella. And now it appears that neither company will get the acquisition it wanted. Qualcomm does still have a couple of days left to get China's approval, so hope is not yet lost. But if China does not sign off on this deal, it means that the largest deal in semiconductors will not go through, which could also be due to the escalating trade wars between the US and China, and NXP is technically just a pawn in that trade war.