US telecommunications firm Qualcomm has decided to pull its $44 billion bid for Dutch chip maker NXP Semiconductors following the failure to gain approval from China’s antitrust regulators.
After almost two years of applications and negotiations with government regulators, Qualcomm has seen recent progress in China – the last necessary market to confer approval – overturned as the company got caught in the crosshairs of a wider trade dispute between Beijing and Washington.
The most recent application to Chinese authorities was given a deadline of Wednesday midnight Eastern Time. Qualcomm said earlier in the day that it does not plan to extend the agreement as it did in April, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf described the company’s decision “a difficult one” but said that he didn’t see “change in the current geopolitical environment” coming anytime soon. Senior US trade officials including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross have even lobbied on behalf of the company to Chinese lawmakers to approve the deal despite the ongoing trade dispute.