Qualcomm Secures EU Approval for NXP Deal

By Natalia DrozdiakFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

Qualcomm Inc. won conditional European Union antitrust approval for its $39 billion acquisition of NXP Semiconductors NV, the EU said Thursday.

The EU opened an in-depth investigation into the merger in June, citing concerns about higher prices and less choice in the semiconductor industry, but Qualcomm offered commitments that resolve the regulator's worries.

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Qualcomm agreed to grant rivals licenses to NXP's transport fare collection technology for eight years, the EU said. The company also committed to ensure that its own baseband chipset and NXP's near-field communications products would continue to function with those of competitors for a period of eight years.

In addition, Qualcomm agreed not to acquire NXP's standard essential patents as well as some nonessential patents for near-field communications services, the EU said. NXP will instead transfer those patents to a third party, which would be obliged to grant royalty-free licenses to those patents for three years.

Qualcomm will still acquire some of NXP's other nonstandard essential NFC patents, the EU said, though it would also be obliged to grant royalty-free licenses to those patents.

The EU's approval comes as Qualcomm fends off unsolicited bids from Broadcom Ltd. An enlarged Qualcomm could make it more challenging for Broadcom to take over the company, given that such a deal would face intense scrutiny from antitrust regulators around the world.

Write to Natalia Drozdiak at natalia.drozdiak@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 18, 2018 10:05 ET (15:05 GMT)