EU antitrust regulators halt Qualcomm, NXP deal review

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - EU antitrust authorities have halted their scrutiny of Qualcomm's QCOM.O $38 billion bid for NXP Semiconductors NXP.N after the companies failed to provide relevant information. 

The European Commission opened a full-scale investigation on June 9 and had been scheduled to decide on the deal by Oct. 17.

“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,” the EU competition authority said in an email.

Qualcomm, which supplies chips to Android smartphone makers and Apple AAPL.P, declined to comment. 

The deal will make it the leading supplier to the fast growing automotive chip market following the deal, the largest in the semiconductor industry.

The EU competition enforcer had voiced concerns about the merged company’s ability to squeeze out rivals and hike prices when it kicked off its investigation.

One worry is the company’s ability to bundle its products, excluding rivals in baseband chipsets and near field communication (NFC) chips. Other concerns include reduced competition in semiconductors used in cars.

U.S. antitrust enforcers cleared the deal unconditionally in April.

Qualcomm may have to offer concessions to secure EU approval.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee, editing by David Evans