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Now Europe is getting jitters over Broadcom's Qualcomm takeover bid

Lawmakers express concern about data protection

By Kat Hall

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Chipmaker Broadcom's proposed $142bn (£103bn) hostile takeover of Qualcomm has given European lawmakers the willies over data protection implications for EU citizens.

It follows concerns raised by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which is reportedly concerned about Singapore-based Broadcom parking its tanks on Qualcomm's San Diego lawns.

US lawmakers have also called for review of Broadcom's bid.

Now European bods are taking an interest in the deal.

"We are concerned about the possibility of a European company handling sensitive data of EU citizens falling in the hands of a company that is based in Singapore, where data protection standards are lower than in the EU," Josef Weidenholzer, vice president of the Socialists & Democrats, the second-largest party in European Parliament, told The Financial Times.

Niels Annen, a Social Democrat member of parliament from Hamburg, said: "Qualcomm made a range of assurances regarding the plant in Hamburg that were very positive. There were no such signals from Broadcom and that has raised concerns."

The Register has approached European party heads and MEPs for comment, as it is unclear what their specific data protections concerns are.

One data protection expert, who asked not to be named, speculated that there could be concerns about chip compromise and data exfiltration.

The proposed Qualcomm takeover, which has been rumbling on for months, is expected to come to a head next week. Broadcom is looking to advance its bid on March 6, when Qualcomm investors are scheduled to vote on whether to give Broadcom a majority on Qualcomm's board of directors.

We have asked Broadcom for a comment. ®

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