A somewhat negative statement from China’s antitrust regulator has cast doubt on the viability of Qualcomm’s $44 billion buyout of NXP Semiconductors, following the US firm’s second refiling of their application.
A spokesman for the Chinese Commerce Ministry, Gao Feng, said that a review of the application found “related issues that are hard to resolve, making it difficult to eliminate the negative impact”, adding that it had considered possible solutions proposed by Qualcomm to the issue of market competition.
There was no mention, however, that the deal will not be approved eventually.
As the Wall Street Journal reports, the obstacles faced by Qualcomm come at a time of heightened trade tensions between the US and China, with telecoms acting as a key battleground. Earlier this week Washington enforced a ban on US companies from supplying parts to Chinese phone maker ZTE, whilst other brands such as Huawei have also faced resistance from US policymakers.