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High-Tech Law & Litigation Blog

  • 14
  • June
  • 2018

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Secret CFIUS Request Spurs Qualcomm Shareholder Suit

On June 8, 2018, Qualcomm shareholders filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of California against Qualcomm Inc., its CEO, and its CFO for, essentially, secretly requesting a Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS”) review of Broadcom Ltd.’s attempted takeover of Qualcomm. Camp v. Qualcomm Inc., 18-cv-1208 (S.D. Cal. filed June 8, 2018). The CFIUS review, as previously reported by V&E, ultimately led to President Trump’s executive order that ended Broadcom’s takeover efforts.

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European Competition Watchdog Says “Shazam!” and Opens In-Depth Investigation Into Apple-Shazam Deal Over Consumer Data Concerns

In December 2017, Apple announced its intention to purchase UK-based app maker Shazam for $400 million. Shazam is best known for developing one of the most popular music recognition apps, which uses a mobile device’s built-in microphone to listen to and identify songs for the user. Because of Shazam’s relatively low revenue numbers, the proposed acquisition did not contain an “EU dimension” based on certain “turnover” (read: revenue) thresholds set by the EU Merger Regulation, and therefore Apple was not required to notify the European Commission of the deal. However, Apple did report the transaction for regulatory clearance in Austria, where the deal met the national notification thresholds. Subsequently, Austria, joined by several other European countries, requested that the European Commission, the EU’s competition watchdog, examine the acquisition. Under Article 22(1) of the EU Merger Regulation, Member States may ask the Commission to examine a merger that does not have an EU dimension but that may otherwise significantly affect competition in the requesting Member State.

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  • 21
  • March
  • 2018

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Trump Blocks Qualcomm Acquisition to Preserve U.S. Dominance in 5G and Important Supply Chains (Part 2)

Last Monday, as reported on by V&E, President Trump put an abrupt halt to Singaporean chipmaker Broadcom Ltd.’s efforts to acquire U.S.-based Qualcomm Inc., when he issued an executive order blocking the acquisition for national security reasons. The order followed an investigation into the proposed transaction by the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS” or the “Committee”) which found that the acquisition threatened U.S. leadership in the 5G standards-setting process and could potentially disrupt important Qualcomm product supply chains to U.S. military and government security agencies. The President’s order appears to be another sign of how the U.S. increasingly views a strong domestic technology sector as an integral part of its overall national security strategy.

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  • 15
  • March
  • 2018

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Trump Blocks Qualcomm Acquisition to Preserve U.S. Dominance in 5G and Important Supply Chains (Part 1)

President Trump, on Monday, issued an executive order prohibiting Broadcom Ltd.’s proposed takeover of Qualcomm Inc., and “any substantially equivalent merger, acquisition, or takeover, whether effected directly or indirectly.” The order stated there was “credible evidence” that a Broadcom-controlled Qualcomm “might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States.” The order also comes on the heels of a letter from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS”) highlighting security risks involved with the acquisition, including the potential loss of U.S. leadership in the 5G standards-setting process and the disruption of important supply chains. Although not the first time the President has blocked such a transaction, the order appears to reiterate the administration’s focus on maintaining technological leadership in certain technology industries, including those technologies with both a consumer and military purpose.

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Security Outlook for Small-Business-Targeted Web Hosts

In order to aid small businesses, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has released a Staff Perspective and a series of articles targeted to consumers and businesses about the availability of secure web-hosting and email providers. The Staff Perspective reviewed the services offered by eleven web-hosting companies and found that while most of these providers offer minimum security verification, most do not offer the more advanced services. Instead, small businesses are expected to implement these services themselves, although most likely do not have the institutional knowledge in order to do so. Without the services outlined in the FTC’s report, small businesses are open to phishing attacks, placing themselves and their customers at risk of financial harm.

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Contributors

Jason A. Levine

Jason A. Levine Partner

Jennifer C. Chen

Jennifer C. Chen Partner

Devika Kornbacher

Devika Kornbacher Partner

Danny Tobey

Danny Tobey Partner

William R. Vigdor

William R. Vigdor Partner

Marc A. Fuller

Marc A. Fuller Counsel

Thomas W. Bohnett

Thomas W. Bohnett Associate

Megan Coker

Megan Coker Associate

Caroline Colpoys

Caroline Colpoys Associate

Trey Hebert

Trey Hebert Associate

Keeney, Jeremy C.

Jeremy C. Keeney Associate

Howard Lithaw Lim Associate

Kimberly R. McCoy

Kimberly R. McCoy Senior Associate

Elizabeth Krabill McIntyre

Elizabeth Krabill McIntyre Senior Associate

David C. Smith

David C. Smith Senior Associate

Janice Ta

Janice Ta Senior Associate

Margaret D. Terwey

Margaret Dunlay Terwey Associate

Ryan B. Will

Ryan Will Associate

Siho (Scott) Yoo

Siho (Scott) Yoo Senior Associate