EU starts investigation on Qualcomm’s NXP takeover

June 12, 2017 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Past Friday, the European Union’s antitrust authorities launched an investigation to explore the consequences of the planned NXP takeover through Qualcomm. The move was motivated by EU concerns about Qualcomm’s ability to squeeze out competitors, news agency Reuters said.

These concerns are primarily related to Qualcomm’s post-merger position in the Near Field Communication (NFC) markets. In particular, the antitrust experts fear that Qualcomm’s acquisition of NXP’s intellectual property in this field could lead to anticompetitive effects such as increased royalties for customers or for the squeeze-out of competitors.

Another field of concern for the EU is the Vehicle-to-x-( V2X) technology. Again, the antitrust authorities have reservations that the merger would weaken the competition between companies active in the markets for automotive semiconductor where V2X is regarded as a promising market for the future.

With a volume of $38 billion, the planned merger would be the largest-ever in the semiconductor industry. For the time being, it is unclear how the anittrust investigation will affect or delay the merger.

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