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Qualcomm and NXP feel heat as Europe continues to posture

Wife comforting her husband

Qualcomm and NXP are finding out just how awkward the European Commission can actually be, as the boresome bureaucrats throw their toys out of the pram.

In a move which could be likened to asking a condemned man to tie his own noose, the European Commission (hereafter known as the Gaggle of Red-tapers) has decided Qualcomm and NXP aren’t providing enough information to help them potentially quash the proposed acquisition of the latter by the former, and has therefore put its investigation on hold.

According to Reuters, the deadline for the investigation will be extended, dependent on how long it takes Qualcomm and NXP to hand over the relevant information. While it is difficult to feel sorry for such vast organizations finding some difficulties, there is a bit of sympathy in this case, as the Gaggle of Red-tapers do have a track record in being awkward and obnoxious.

While we appreciate Qualcomm and NXP should help the repulsive rulemaker, you should expect the Gaggle of Red-tapers to do some work themselves. Details are a bit thin on the ground, though it would live up to stereotypes of the Gaggle of Red-tapers.

Generally all you have to do is look at regulators wrong and they’ll lose their sh*t. Tying up companies like Qualcomm and NXP in an flurry of red tape is one way in which the tiresome tyrant can justify its slow-moving existence in the fast world of connectivity.

The development is also another example of the Gaggle of Red-tapers seemingly wanting to screw around with American organizations. There is a growing list of US companies who have seemingly offended the Gaggle of Red-tapers in some way, Google and Apple seem to be at the top of the sh*t list, but somehow European antitrust watchdogs have found a problem where its US counterparts have not.

Since the initial announcement of the $47 billion acquisition of NXP by Qualcomm, US antitrust authorities cleared the deal, while the Gaggle of Red-tapers said they were concerned about the ability of the new company to offer bundles, and therefore undercut competitors using the principles of economy of scale.

Qualcomm executives must be sitting around the boardroom, slapping their foreheads in disbelief. Of course NXP was purchased to provide a competitive advantage in high growth markets and more attractive prices to customers through bundling. This is Business 101. Hundreds of other deals have been put down to this objective, but the Gaggle of Red-tapers have taken offense somehow.

It seems like a bit of a childish move from an increasingly redundant and dated authority which is yet to adapt to the connected era. Qualcomm and NXP might not have done anything directly offensive, but perhaps they are simply the collateral damage as the Gaggle of Red-tapers makes a statement to the technology industry on the whole; you might not like or respect us, but we can f*ck your sh*t up if we want to.


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