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Qualcomm says China regulators prompt delay of NXP merger

© AFP/File | Qualcomm early this year raised its bid for NXP to an estimated $43 billion as Qualcomm moved to fend off a hostile offer from Broadcom, which was based in Singapore at the time

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) - 

US mobile chipmaking giant Qualcomm on Thursday said it extended the deadline for its planned merger with Dutch rival NXP to work on getting clearance from regulators in China.

At the request of the Ministry of Commerce in China, the companies have refiled a notice of acquisition, Qualcomm said in a news release.

The refiling came with an agreement between Qualcomm and NXP to push the end-date of the deal out three months to July 25, according to the California-based chipmaker.

If the merger hasn't cleared all regulatory hurdles by the deadline, Qualcomm is to pay NXP a termination fee.

Qualcomm early this year raised its bid for NXP to an estimated $43 billion as Qualcomm moved to fend off a hostile offer from Broadcom, which was based in Singapore at the time.

Broadcom abandoned efforts to take over Qualcomm in March, after its bid was blocked by President Donald Trump over national security concerns.

Broadcom, which was founded in California, has since returned its headquarters to the United States.

Qualcomm's new bid amounted to $127.50 per NXP share and aimed to satisfy NXP shareholders who had expressed concern the original offer was too low.

With NXP debt, the deal's value is more than $50 billion.

Adding NXP would give a broader array of products including sensors and microprocessors for connected "internet of things" devices to Qualcomm, which is the dominant maker of chips for smartphones.

Qualcomm has faced antitrust probes in several countries over its dominance of the mobile chip market.

According to Qualcomm, the acquisition of NXP has received antitrust clearance from eight of the nine required government regulatory bodies around the world, with the matter still pending in China.

Based in the Dutch town of Eindhoven, NXP is a leading maker of chips for the auto industry, as well as for contactless payment systems.

A former division of the Dutch electronics giant Philips, it became independent in 2006.

© 2018 AFP