The analysis to follow requires the definition of several terms.
We’ll begin with two.
Gordon Gekko: “(A) fictional character in the 1987 film ‘Wall Street’ and its 2010 sequel ‘Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.’ The character (is) a ruthless and wildly wealthy investor and corporate raider….”
Corporate Raider: “A corporate raider is an investor who buys a large number of shares in a corporation….The large share purchase would give the corporate raider significant voting rights, which could then be used to push changes in the company's leadership and management….
“A corporate raider might want to see certain assets and business lines divested from the company, possibly to unlock the value of the asset or to remove a detriment to the company’s bottom line. That could include eliminating offices and production facilities that are costly to maintain.”
Singapore’s corporate raiding Gordon Gekko is a man by the name of Hock Tan. And his pirating company is Broadcom.
Tan and Broadcom do in real life what Gordon Gekko did fictitiously. Execute hostile takeovers of companies - and then break them into tiny pieces and sell them off.
And Broadcom has set its destructive sites on United States innovation dynamo Qualcomm.
Qualcomm does the vital, very expensive work that is Research and Development (R & D). We’re talking currently about $1.4 billion of R & D coin - every three months. And their decades of doing so has made them extraordinarily good at it.
And much of what Qualcomm has developed is Internet-centric.
To name but one crucial component: Qualcomm invented the way cell phones connect to the Web. The font of the hundreds of billions of dollars of economic activity and incredible life-advancing that has followed. In fact, without Qualcomm innovations your cellular phone would basically be a glorified, very skinny rotary phone.
And much of what Qualcomm has now worked to develop is the Fifth Generation wireless network, or 5G.
5G: “(T)he proposed next telecommunications standards beyond the current 4G/IMT-Advanced standards….5G planning aims at higher capacity than current 4G, allowing a higher density of mobile broadband users, and supporting device-to-device, more reliable, and massive machine communications. 5G research and development also aims at lower latency than 4G equipment and lower battery consumption, for better implementation of the Internet of Things.”
5G will be to the wireless Web and devices of all sorts what the advent of the Internet was to the computer. Only MUCH bigger.
Internet of Things (IoT): “(T)he network of physical devices, vehicles, home appliances and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and connectivity which enables these objects to connect and exchange data. Each thing is uniquely identifiable through its embedded computing system but is able to inter-operate within the existing Internet infrastructure….The IoT allows objects to be sensed or controlled remotely across existing network infrastructure, creating opportunities for more direct integration of the physical world into computer-based systems, and resulting in improved efficiency, accuracy and economic benefit in addition to reduced human intervention.”
Currently, Qualcomm is in the lead in developing 5G. Which means the United States is in the lead in developing 5G. Which is a very good thing.
Because we don’t want an authoritarian government like that of Communist China, which is currently in distant second place, determining the future of the Internet of Everything. Which is what 5G will be.
And thanks largely to Qualcomm we’re getting there faster than anyone thought.
Which means China needs to do something - now. Enter Singapore’s Gekko.
God bless Qualcomm’s investors - they ain’t masticating. So Broadcom figures if you can’t beat them - (en)join them.
Qualcomm has an eleven-member Board of Directors. Broadcom has bribed six candidates - at $100,000 per, with the de rigueur non-disclosure agreements to run for Board membership.
That vote is March 6. And should Broadcom’s candidates win, they will use their newfound majority to vote to allow Broadcom’s hostile takeover. And then…?
Broadcom May Fire a Third of Qualcomm Staff: “(Broadcom) has been buying and asset stripping companies. This has resulted in excellent financial performance, but the outfit is a tech equivalent of a car wrecker….It is starting to look like Broadcom's take over of Qualcomm will be less of a merger and more of an asset strip.”
Broadcom will splinter Qualcomm into tiny, sellable pieces - including all of its 5G innovations.
Gee, I wonder if Singapore-neighbor China has an inside track on said purchases…?
And Broadcom will kill Qualcomm’s R & D. Because R & D is long-term and thus doesn’t produce the immediate stock price increases that killing it would.
Which means our nation’s leading on all things 5G will immediately come to a complete halt as Communist China speeds past us into the controlling lead on the Internet of Everything.
Oh - and Qualcomm does lots of business with the U.S. government. And does so with a Top Secret facility security clearance.
All of this - and more…is a bit of a national security problem.
Enter California Republican Representative Duncan Hunter.
And enter the inter-governmental-agency board - The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).
CFIUS: “(A)n inter-agency committee authorized to review transactions that could result in control of a U.S. business by a foreign person (‘covered transactions’), in order to determine the effect of such transactions on the national security of the United States.”
We’re about to have “control of a U.S. business” acquired “by a foreign person.”
Via a bunch of bribed Board members - and thus agents of said “foreign person.”
And the newly-“foreign person”-controlled U.S. business deals in ultra-secret U.S. government actions.
All of which would seem to be a textbook-case for CFIUS to kill the deal. And they absolutely should do so. In the cradle - before the March 6 Board vote.
Because to not do so would be to green-light this foreign-takeover-by-Board model. For every foreign company, everywhere, which would be terrible for national security in ways too numerous to count, let alone comprehend.
Exclusive: Secretive U.S. Security Panel Discussing Broadcom's Qualcomm Bid: “Senator John Cornyn, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, (in a letter) urged Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Monday to have the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, or CFIUS, officially review the proposed transaction before a key shareholder vote expected on March 6….”
Senator Cornyn is absolutely correct. So too is Congressman Hunter.
But we need CFIUS to do more than merely act before March 6. And do more than merely review the Broadcom takeover.
They need to kill the deal. Now.
National security demands it.