However, Qualcomm has been resisting Broadcom's overtures, prompting the latter to nominate six directors to Qualcomm's 11-member board at its shareholder meeting. There is also concern that the supply of Qualcomm tech goodies to the U.S. state may be affected by the move.
Qualcomm did not deny seeking a CFIUS review but accused Broadcom of using misleading rhetoric "to trivialize and ignore serious regulatory and national security issues".
Qualcomm just concluded its 5G day in San Diego, California, where it showed off a number of new demos showcasing what the new Snapdragon 845 can do.
The U.S. government is concerned with national security risks associated with a Singapore-based company being allowed to take over America's largest and only semiconductor manufacturer. The recent move by the USA government means that Qualcomm will have to wait until next month to hold a key shareholders' meeting.
Part of CFIUS' current concern, which is echoed in a letter Mr Cornyn sent to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin last week, could lie in the fact that Broadcom has failed to strike a deal with Qualcomm.
The Treasury Department laid out its concerns in a letter to both chipmakers explaining its Sunday order to delay Qualcomm's annual shareholder meeting. The agenda includes director elections that could give board control to nominees of Singapore-based Broadcom.
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The government action on March 4 highlighted growing US concerns about safeguarding semiconductor technology and cast a doubt on the deal's success.
In a Monday statement, Broadcom said Qualcomm had "secretly" asked the CFIUS to investigate back at the end of January. Specifically it thinks the move could pose a risk to the national security of the US. So far, Qualcomm's board has rejected Broadcom's $79 per share bid for being too low and for failing to provide enough protection should regulators block the takeover. But Broadcom's announcements are starting to smack of reactive desperation as the political game turns against it.
Treasury's letter cited Chinese chip maker Huawei as a competitive threat in the development of 5G. The uncertainty associated with such investigations, which are seen as politicized and offer little transparency, often dooms potential deals before a conclusion is reached.
However, Broadcom is not a Chinese company.
With CFIUS examining the deal, Qualcomm now can work to close its pending $43 billion of NXP Semiconductors to diversify its business beyond smartphones, attempt to make progress on patent licensing disputes with Apple and try to construct a stronger case to shareholders to remain a stand-alone company, said Rasgon.