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© qualcomm © NXP Business | January 19, 2018

Qualcomm’s acquisition of NXP gains EU clearance ...if

The European Commission has approved Qualcomm’s proposed acquisition of NXP. The approval is conditional on full compliance with commitments offered by Qualcomm.
“We use our smartphones for many different things and now also more and more as mobile wallets, to pay for public transport or make other secure payments. With this decision, we ensure that Qualcomm's takeover of NXP will not prevent consumers from continuing to enjoy the benefits of these innovative technologies at competitive prices,” said Commissioner Margrethe Vestager.

The decision follows an in-depth review of the proposed acquisition. According to the commission, both companies have dominant or strong market positions with highly complementary products and own a significant amount of intellectual property relevant to smartphone manufacturers.

Therefore the Commission has some competition concerns, among these the Commission believed that that the merged entity would have had the ability and incentive to make it more difficult for other suppliers to access NXP's MIFARE technology, by raising the licensing royalties or by ceasing to license MIFARE altogether. Another concern was that the merged entity would also have had the ability and incentive to degrade the interoperability of Qualcomm's baseband chipsets and NXP's NFC and SE chips with rivals' products. The Commission also pointed to the two companies' significant intellectual property portfolios related to NFC technology.

The Commission initially also had concerns relating to competition in the markets for semiconductors used in the automotive sector. However, the in-depth investigation did not confirm these.

To address the competition concerns, Qualcomm offered to address the concerns related to MIFARE. Qualcomm committed to offer licenses to NXP's MIFARE technology and trademarks, for an eight-year period.

Qualcomm would also address the competition concerns related to interoperability, and ensure that, for an eight-year period, it would provide the same level of interoperability between its own baseband chipset and the NFC and SE products it acquires from NXP with the corresponding products of other companies.

Finally, to address the Commission's competition concerns in relation to the licensing of NXP's NFC patents – Qualcomm offered to not acquire NXP's standard essential NFC patents. It also offered to not acquire certain of NXP's non-standard essential NFC patents.

And with these commitments, the Commission concluded that the proposed transaction would no longer raise competition concerns. The Commission's decision is conditional upon full compliance with the commitments.

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February 08 2018 5:15 pm V9.2.4-1