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UK Regulators Probe Qualcomm’s Autotalks Acquisition

 |  October 2, 2023

Britain’s antitrust watchdog, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), has initiated an investigation into Qualcomm’s purchase of Autotalks, an Israeli auto-chip manufacturer, to assess potential implications for competition in the UK market. The move follows concerns raised over the deal, which has attracted regulatory attention in multiple jurisdictions.

Qualcomm had revealed its intention to acquire Autotalks, a specialist in chips designed for crash-prevention technology in vehicles, in May of this year. However, the specific terms of the acquisition had not been publicly disclosed at the time of the announcement.

The CMA’s examination of the Qualcomm-Autotalks deal comes as part of its mandate to ensure fair competition and safeguard consumer interests within the United Kingdom. The authority has called for public input and comments regarding the acquisition, as reported by Reuters.

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Autotalks has garnered recognition for its dedicated chips used in the Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) communications technology sector, serving both manned and driverless vehicles. For Qualcomm, the acquisition of Autotalks is seen as a strategic move to expand its presence and capabilities in the automotive industry.

European Union regulators had previously ordered that Qualcomm must seek antitrust approval for this potential takeover of Autotalks, underlining the international scrutiny the deal has attracted. Additionally, Politico reported that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is poised to initiate an in-depth investigation into the acquisition, indicating the extensive regulatory review the transaction is undergoing.

As the CMA’s investigation unfolds and with global regulatory bodies closely monitoring the acquisition, the future of Qualcomm’s purchase of Autotalks remains subject to rigorous scrutiny, with potential ramifications for competition dynamics in the automotive technology sector.

The CMA has also invited stakeholders, experts, and the public to provide their insights and opinions on the acquisition’s impact on the UK market, as it continues its assessment of this significant deal in the coming weeks.

Source: Reuters