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Broadcom pledges $1.5 billion for 5G to keep Qualcomm offer on track

President Donald J. Trump hugs Broadcom CEO Hock Tan as Tan announces the repatriation of his company to the United States during a ceremony in the Oval Office of the White House on Nov. 2, 2017 in Washington, D.C. (Pool/Abaca Press/TNS)

Broadcom said Wednesday it will do practically whatever its takes to make the United States “the global leader” in 5G wireless technology, including investing $1.5 billion to set up a fund for training and educating American engineers.

Broadcom made its plans known as part of its ongoing efforts to acquire Qualcomm, which is already one of the leading developers of 5G technology for mobile-phone networks. Broadcom has launched an unsolicited effort to acquire Qualcomm for approximately $117 billion.

In a statement, Broadcom said it “will not only maintain the R&D resources Qualcomm devotes to 5G and innovation in future wireless standards, we will also focus R&D spend to those critical technologies that are essential to the U.S.”

Broadcom’s intentions came one day after the U.S. Treasury Department’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. sent a letter to Broadcom questioning the company’s ties to foreign organizations.

The CFIUS said it views 5G as important for U.S. national security, and that it was concerned about Chinese tech companies potentially gaining more influence on 5G development in the United States. Broadcom, which is based in Singapore, has its co-headquarters in San Jose, and is in the process of moving its entire legal headquarters to the United States this year.

One of the responsibilities of the CFIUS is to evaluate foreign takeovers of U.S. companies for national-security issues. When it requested Qualcomm delay its shareholder meeting, the CFIUS cited its concerns that China, and Chinese telecommunications technology giant Huawei, in particular, could get too much influence in the development of 5G technology in the United States.

Broadcom is trying to gain traction for its Qualcomm acquisition efforts with a slate of six nominees for Qualcomm’s board of directors. Qualcomm shareholders were scheduled to vote on Broadcom’s nominees on Tuesday, but Qualcomm postponed its annual meeting until April 5 after the CFIUS said it wanted more time to evaluate Broadcom’s takeover proposal.

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© 2018 The Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.)

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.