QUALCOMM, Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM) acquisition of NXP Semiconductors NV for $43 billion has been approved by Chinese regulators. The approval, which has been pending for 18 months, removes the final obstacle to the purchase. The decision will allow the transaction to be completed ahead of the deadline in July set by NXP, which was planning to decline the deal if it wasn’t approved by then.
China’s review of Qualcomm’s largest acquisition was among the trading tensions between the US while NXP and Chinese telecom company ZTE were bargaining chips in the negotiations. After the company agreed to a settlement with the US Commerce Department over business practices, ZTE shares began trading in Hong Kong this week. Senate lawmakers are pushing to keep sanctions on the company so agreement prospects are still unclear.
China approved of the deal if it was assured the seven-year ban on ZTE would be lifted. According to Bloomberg News, Chinese regulars cleared the investigations on the NXP deal and were satisfied with remedies Qualcomm offered. Qualcomm wants NXP to diversify its sources of revenue while NXP would give it a stronger presence in the market for automotive chips while decreasing dependence on smartphones. If the deal doesn’t work out, Qualcomm will owe NXP a $2 billion breakup fee.