Brussels investigating US takeover of Dutch chips maker NXP

An NXP wafer: Photo NXP

The European Commission is launching an in-depth investigation into the acquisition of chips maker NXP Semiconductors of Eindhoven by its US peer Qualcomm, the Financieele Dagblad reported on Monday.

The Commission said it fears the transaction will lead to higher prices, reduced product selection and less innovation in the chips sector. The deal has been approved in the US but awaits rulings in Europe and Asia. NXP is the largest automotive industry chips maker, while Qualcomm is by far the largest producer of chips for mobile telephones.

At the end of 2016 Qualcomm made a $110 per share offer for NXP, valuing the Dutch company at about $47bn or €43bn. Both companies are traded on the New York-based Nasdaq exchange.

If it goes through the acquisition of NXP by Qualcomm will be one of the largest-ever transactions in the semiconductor sector. The transaction was placed before the Commission on 28 April which then had 90 days (until 17 October) to make a decision.

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