The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has said that it's launching an investigation into Qualcomm’s acquisition of Israeli firm Autotalks. The CMA is looking to see whether the deal will hurt competition in the UK market.
For a bit of background, Autotalks makes chips used in crash-prevention technology in vehicles. Qualcomm could merge Autotalks’ technology into its own chips. If the CMA believes that the removal of Autotalks from the UK market will drastically lessen competition then it could prevent the acquisition going ahead.
According to Reuters, the EU has said Qualcomm will need to get antitrust approval for the takeover and the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is expected to launch an in-depth probe into the deal.
On the CMA’s website it says that invitation to comment is now open which means that any interested party can contact the CMA with their thoughts on the acquisition. These comments will then be kept on hand as it proceeds with its formal investigation.
The invitation to comment was opened up today and the closure date is still to be confirmed. The deadline for the phase 1 investigation deadline is also still to be confirmed. After the investigation, the CMA could find that it needs to do a phase 2 investigation if it didn’t decide during phase 1.
The CMA has been very busy during 2023. There is, of course, Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard which has been extensively covered on Neowin. There is also Adobe’s acquisition of Figma which has been investigated. Most recently, the CMA approved Broadcom’s purchase of VMware.
The CMA is not afraid of blocking deals either. Last October, it told Meta that it would have to sell off Giphy after it was found that the acquisition was anti-competitive.
The Qualcomm acquisition decision will probably take at least several months but if it turns into a complicated matter it could run on for even longer.