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High-Tech Law & Litigation Blog

  • 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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  • 14
  • November
  • 2017

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Trumping Up CFIUS? Proposed Legislation Expands CFIUS Reviews To Include a Wide Variety of Technology Transactions

Section 721 of the Defense Production Act of 1950 (the “DPA”) authorizes the President of the United States and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (the “Committee” or “CFIUS”) to take such action to protect the national security with regard to any transaction in which a foreign person could obtain control of a U.S. business (a “Covered Transaction”). Practitioners generally believe that CFIUS has and wields broad and effective authority to protect the national security of the United States. However, Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) and key figures within the Administration apparently do not share that view, as on November 8, 2017, Senator Cornyn and a bipartisan group of co-sponsors introduced the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act of 2017 to amend the DPA (the “Amendment”). If enacted, the Amendment will significantly expand the authority of CFIUS by broadening the types of transactions that CFIUS is able to review and lengthening the list of factors that CFIUS is to take into account when assessing the impact of a transaction on the national security of the United States.

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Something for Everyone: Businesses Across All Industries Can Learn from FTC's "Stick with Security" Guidance on Data Security Best Practices

As a dynamic follow-up to its “Start with Security” guide, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) debuted in July its “Stick with Security” initiative to provide continued guidance to businesses on sound security practices. The initiative has kicked off with a series of Friday blog posts, each emphasizing a security best practice drawn from the FTC’s closed investigations, its law enforcement actions, and questions it has received from businesses. In the first blog post, published July 21, 2017, the FTC revealed some of the themes that resulted in the FTC not taking law enforcement action.

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Uber Settles with the FTC, Tying Itself to the Agency For Up To 20 Years

On August 15, 2017, three years after it faced backlash from the media, Uber has settled with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over allegations that despite its representations, the company failed to secure customer data and failed to monitor employee access to that data, thus engaging in unfair or deceptive acts or practices affecting commerce in violation of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. § 45(a). We cannot explain why it took three years for the decision to be issued. Regardless, the decision is a reminder that parties must accurately describe their security programs, must take reasonable and appropriate steps to protect personal information, and must test the efficacy of their privacy programs.

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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