Exclusive: Qualcomm set to win conditional Japanese antitrust okay for NXP deal – source

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – U.S. smartphone chipmaker Qualcomm is set to win “imminent” Japanese antitrust clearance for its $38-billion bid for NXP Semiconductors and gain Europe’s approval by the end of the year with slight tweaks to its concessions, a person familiar with the matter said.

FILE PHOTO: A sign on the Qualcomm campus is seen, as chip maker Broadcom Ltd announced an unsolicited bid to buy peer Qualcomm Inc for $103 billion, in San Diego, California, U.S. November 6, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

Winning the green light from both competition authorities would take Qualcomm a major step forward to closing the deal and reinforce its fight against an unsolicited $103-billion takeover bid from Broadcom.

The Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) “is expected to clear Qualcomm’s acquisition of NXP imminently,” the source said.

“The European Commission is expected to follow soon.”

The JFTC did not respond to emailed requests for comments sent during out of office hours. The EU competition enforcer, which has set a March 15 deadline to rule on the deal, declined to comment while Qualcomm was not available for comment.

Qualcomm, which supplies chips to Android smartphone makers and Apple, wants to become the leading supplier to the fast-growing automotive chips market via the NXP purchase, the biggest-ever in the semiconductor industry.

To address competition concerns, the company has agreed not to purchase NXP’s standard essential patents and not to take legal action against third parties related to NXP’s near field communication (NFC) patents except for defensive purposes.

It also offered an interoperability pledge which will allow rival products to function with NXP’s products.

NXP co-invented NFC chips which enable mobile phones to be used to pay for goods and store and exchange data.

Qualcomm will make incremental changes to concessions offered to the EU authority last month, the person said.

A similar proposal was also proposed to the JFTC.

Broadcom made its move last week in an effort to become the dominant supplier of chips used in the 1.5 billion or so smartphones expected to be sold around the world this year. Qualcomm has dismissed the offer, saying it undervalues the company.

Broadcom, Qualcomm and NXP together would have control over modems, Wi-Fi, GPS and near-field communications chips, a strong position that could concern customers such as Apple and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd because of the bargaining power such a combined company could have to raise prices.

However, a combined company would also likely have a lower cost base and the flexibility to cut prices.

Editing by Toby Chopra

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Here Are Microsoft’s Best Xbox Deals for Black Friday

With all of the companies getting in on the Black Friday craze, it’s now time for Microsoft to get into the mix.

The company’s resident gaming guru Major Nelson on Thursday announced a variety of Black Friday gaming deals aimed at helping Xbox One owners save some cash not only on games, but also its hardware. And in a move that might appeal to current Xbox One owners, Microsoft is giving those who subscribe to its Xbox Live Gold online gameplay subscription an early start on the deals.

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Here’s a look at some of the better offers Microsoft is delivering on both games and hardware for Black Friday. And remember: if you’re already an Xbox Live Gold subscriber, you can access the deals now through the Xbox One’s onboard digital shop.

Hardware

  • If you aren’t so keen on buying the new $500 Xbox One X, you can pick up the Xbox One S for just $189 on Black Friday. That’s the cheapest Microsoft has ever sold the console for, and it should deliver to you outstanding gameplay experiences at an affordable price.

10 Best Xbox One Video Game Deals

Microsoft is offering discounts on a slew of titles. And if you want to see them all, click here. But if you want a handy list of great deals on outstanding games, here’s your best bet:

  • Assassin’s Creed Origins is getting a 20% discount on Black Friday. But if you’re an Xbox Live Gold member who buys the game digitally, you’ll get a 30% discount.
  • Call of Duty: WWII will be available at a 5% discount, though Xbox Live Gold users will get a 10% discount.
  • The hit Destiny 2 will benefit from a 17% discount on Black Friday, or a 25% price drop for Xbox Live Gold users.
  • Sport lover? Microsoft is offering the EA Sports FIFA 18 & NHL 18 bundle for 40% off for Xbox Live Gold subscribers. Other Xbox owners can get it at a 30% discount.
  • Final Fantasy XV will be offered at up to a 60% discount on Black Friday.
  • Halo 5: Guardians is getting the Black Friday treatment with up to a 50% discount on the big holiday shopping day.
  • Want to play Madden NFL 18? Get on Black Friday for up to 50% off.
  • Basketball fans will be able to get NBA 2K18 for up to 30% off.
  • Quantum Break will get a steep discount of 40% for non-Xbox Live Gold users and 50% for those who are on the subscription gaming service.
  • Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is tallying up to a 50% discount on Black Friday.

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General Electric Market Cap Down $240 Billion Last 10 Years

General Electric (NYSE:GE) has gotten absolutely crushed over the last two days, falling 15% from $20.50 down to $17.50. GE’s peak of the current bull market for the S&P 500 came on July 20th of last year, but since then it’s down 47%. Even more shocking is that at $17.50, GE’s share price is trading at the same level it was at 20 years ago in early 1997. Of course there have been dividends paid, but it’s not a good look for a company when share price is unchanged on a 20-year basis.

General Electric now has a market cap of $153.6 billion. That’s still larger than 93% of the stocks in the S&P 500, but it ranks 33rd from the top at this point. Ten years ago, GE was the second-largest company in the S&P 500 behind only Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM). Since then, GE has lost $240.7 billion in market cap.

Below is a look at the 40 largest stocks in the S&P 500 at the moment. While GE has lost $240 billion over the last ten years, three of the four largest stocks right now have each added more than $500 billion (AAPL, GOOGL, AMZN). Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) has added $500+ billion in market cap as well, given that it wasn’t even public ten years ago and it now has a market cap of $521 billion.

Had someone told you in 2007 that the S&P 500 would be up 80% ten years from now, you would have certainly expected GE to add to its market cap instead of subtract $240 billion. When it comes to long-term projections, it just goes to show you – expect the unexpected.

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