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Qualcomm’s Acquisition of Autotalks Under Scrutiny by UK Antitrust Watchdog

 |  February 27, 2024

The planned acquisition of Israeli semiconductor firm Autotalks Ltd. by Qualcomm Inc. has hit a regulatory roadblock as the UK’s antitrust watchdog launches a formal probe into the deal amid concerns over potential anti-competitive practices.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has initiated an investigation into Qualcomm’s purchase of Autotalks Ltd., expressing worries that the transaction could impede competition within the semiconductor market. The CMA has set a deadline of April 25 to decide whether to approve the deal or escalate the scrutiny to an in-depth investigation, reported Bloomberg.

Last year, Qualcomm, headquartered in San Diego, California, unveiled its subsidiary Qualcomm Technologies Inc.’s intention to acquire Autotalks Ltd., a leading provider of chips utilized in vehicle crash-prevention technology. However, the financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed at the time of the announcement. Qualcomm justified the acquisition as a strategic move to enhance its offerings in automotive safety systems.

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The scrutiny from the UK’s antitrust authority comes in the wake of similar concerns raised by the European Union. The EU has already commenced an assessment of the takeover following requests submitted by 15 member states of the European Union.

The investigation into Qualcomm’s acquisition of Autotalks Ltd. underscores the growing regulatory scrutiny faced by major tech companies engaging in mergers and acquisitions. As technology continues to play an increasingly pivotal role in various industries, regulators are keen on ensuring that market competition remains robust and consumer interests are safeguarded.

Source: Bloomberg