Qualcomm Inc (QCOM.O) walked away from a $44 billion deal to buy NXP Semiconductors (NXPI.O) after failing to secure Chinese regulatory approval, becoming a high profile victim of a bitter Sino-U.S. trade spat.
The world’s biggest smartphone-chip maker and NXP confirmed in separate statements on Thursday the deal, which would have been the biggest semiconductor takeover globally, had been terminated.
The collapse of the deal is likely to aggravate tensions between Washington and Beijing, damage China’s image as an antitrust regulator and discourage deals that need Chinese approval to go through, sources have said.
Qualcomm had said on Wednesday that it would drop the bid for Dutch NXP, unless a last minute reprieve from China was received. There was no word from China’s State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR), the antitrust regulator reviewing the deal, after the deadline for the deal to expire passed.
“We obviously got caught up in something that was above us,” Qualcomm Chief Executive Steve Mollenkopf said in an interview after the announcement on Wednesday.