The European Commission has paused its antitrust investigation into Qualcomm Inc.’s acquisition of NXP Semiconductors N.V.
The commission had set an Oct. 17 deadline to wrap up its probe. A notice on the commission’s website said that as of June 28, the investigation has been suspended.
The investigation began June 9, and is scheduled to take 90 working days. The delay, however, means that the clock has stopped ticking.
In a statement, an EU representative said the parties failed to provide an important piece of information that the commission had requested in a timely manner.
“Once the missing information is supplied by the parties, the clock is re-started and the deadline for the commission’s decision is then adjusted accordingly,” said the statement.
Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM) officials were not immediately available for comment.
In a previous statement, EU regulators said they were concerned that Qualcomm and NXP will have the incentive and the ability to exclude competitors from the market. One concern is whether the merged company would bundle NXP’s near field communication technology into Qualcomm’s broader patent portfolio. EU regulators also have concerns with competition in the growing field of auto semiconductors.
Qualcomm’s acquisition of NXP (Nasdaq: NXPI) would dramatically expand the San Diego company’s business in the auto space.
Separately, Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) is suing Qualcomm over the way it licenses its patents.
U.S. regulators have already approved Qualcomm’s $38 billion bid for NXP, but several other governments must give their approvals. Activist NXP shareholders, meanwhile, are saying NXP is worth more than the $110 per share that Qualcomm is offering.
On June 28, Qualcomm extended the deadline on its tender offer for NXP shares to July 27. Shareholders had tendered some 12.5 percent of their shares by June 28.
Qualcomm says it would like to complete the merger by Dec. 31.