Republican lawmakers back review of Broadcom's Qualcomm bid

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) walks outside the Senate chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. February 7, 2018. REUTERS/Eric Thayer

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Republican lawmakers on Monday backed a U.S. panel's decision to delay semiconductor firm Qualcomm Inc QCOM.O shareholder meeting to allow for a more extensive review of Broadcom Ltd's AVGO.O takeover bid.

“I’m glad they’re taking a closer look at it. Qualcomm is a leader in 5G technology, which is going to be the new standard in the future,” said Senator John Cornyn, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, who had pushed for further review.

Saying China and other countries “have been incredibly aggressive and strategic,” Cornyn told reporters outside the Senate that a hostile takeover of the chipmaker by a foreign company would be a cause for concern. Broadcom is based in Singapore.

“I support the idea that the committee on foreign investment takes a close look at that to see that American interests are protected,” he said.

Senator Tom Cotton, a vocal Republican voice on foreign policy, also said he backed further review.

“Qualcomm’s work is too important to our national security to let it fall into the hands of a foreign company — and in a hostile takeover no less,” Cotton said in a statement.

The U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) on Sunday ordered Qualcomm to delay its March 8 shareholder meeting, an unprecedented move that cast new doubt on Broadcom’s $117 billion bid for its U.S. semiconductor peer.

Reuters reported last week that CFIUS had begun looking at Broadcom’s bid amid growing pressure from lawmakers, including President Donald Trump’s fellow Republicans in Congress.

Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Richard Chang