Posts Tagged ‘netherlands’

EU tells Poland time running out to restore rule of law

February 27, 2018


BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Western EU states told Poland on Tuesday that time was running out for it to address concerns in a dispute over democratic freedoms, but held off from further action as a deadline for a response from Warsaw approaches.

Thousands of protesters took to the streets across Poland urging Duda to exercise his veto [Reuters]Thousands of protesters took to the streets in Poland last year

In a long-running and bruising clash, the executive European Commission has accused Poland’s nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party of undermining the rule of law with reforms to the judiciary and state media since taking power in late 2015.

After repeatedly declining to backtrack on its judicial reforms, Warsaw has now sat down to negotiations as paralell talks on the bloc’s next joint budget starting in 2021 get under way.

EU ministers held their third debate on the matter in Brussels on Tuesday, with Germany and France warning Poland against using discussions with the Commission as a smokescreen.

“The clock is ticking. The European Commission and a series of EU members are very concerned about the rule of law situation, particularly the independence of the judiciary,” said Michael Roth, Germany’s minister for EU affairs.

“In recent days I have noticed positive signals of willingness (from Poland) to engage in dialogue. That’s an important point, but at the end it’s not about promises but concrete acts,” Roth told reporters.

Image may contain: 1 person, suit

Jaroslaw Kaczynski

Brussels has recommended that the bloc launch an unprecedented Article 7 punitive procedure against Warsaw – which could lead to suspending Poland’s voting rights in the EU – unless it concedes ground by March 20.


Poland’s Deputy Foreign Minister Konrad Szymanski said Warsaw would soon publish an explanation of some 13 laws PiS has passed on the court system to demonstrate to other EU states it acted to rid Poland of the vestiges of communist rule.

“We expect member states to make their own assessment of this situation and really consider whether there is any serious risk of a serious breach of the rule of law. In our view, there is no such serious risk,” he said.

The Commission and the bloc’s founding members – which include the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and Italy as well as France and Germany – say the PiS measures risk undermining the EU’s internal market and judicial cooperation.

“The need for reform of the judiciary can never be an excuse to enhance political control over the judiciary. The judiciary should be independent. The separation of powers is a fundamental principle,” Commission deputy head Frans Timmermans said.

Timmermans said he would assess the new Polish document when it comes to see whether it was promising enough to continue talks, or else ask EU states to take action against Warsaw.

Stripping Poland of its voting rights is highly unlikely to occur because it would require unanimity, and Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban has promised to block any such action against his Polish ally.

But the dispute could badly hurt Poland if other member states move to cut vital funding in the looming budget talks. Poland is currently the biggest beneficiary of the EU budget.

Senior Polish officials have hinted Warsaw could tweak some of the new judiciary laws, though details have yet to be agreed.

The ministerial session on Tuesday ran for longer than planned, suggesting a lively discussion. Some of Poland’s fellow ex-communist neighbors said the Commission should not push Warsaw too hard.

“Today is no time for decisions,” said Deputy Prime Minister Ekaterina Zakharieva of Bulgaria, which holds the EU’s rotating presidency, adding that Poland’s willingness to enter again into talks with Brussels represented “huge progress”.


Dutch parliament recognizes 1915 Armenian massacre as genocide

February 22, 2018

THE HAGUE (Reuters) – The Dutch parliament on Thursday passed a motion recognizing as genocide the massacre of as many as 1.5 million Armenians in 1915.

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FILE PHOTO – A general view shows the House of Parliament, in The Hague 

The move, passed with the support of all major parties, risks further straining diplomatic relations between The Hague and Ankara, which have been tense since the Dutch barred a Turkish minister from campaigning in the Netherlands last year.

Nearly a dozen other EU countries have passed similar resolutions. Turkey denies that the killings, which took place at the height of World War One, constitute genocide.

Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg

Qualcomm Set to Raise Bid for NXP to $44 Billion

February 20, 2018

Move could also help chip giant as it seeks to fend off takeover interest from Broadcom

Chip giant Qualcomm Inc. is set to raise its bid for NXP Semiconductors NV to about $44 billion in an effort to win shareholder support for the acquisition, according to people familiar with the matter.

The move could also help Qualcomm as it tries to fend off a $121 billion takeover approach from Broadcom Ltd., which has threatened to withdraw its offer if Qualcomm makes a higher offer for NXP.

San Diego-based Qualcomm is expected to raise its bid for rival chip maker NXP to about $127.50 a share, up from its initial offer of $110, or $39 billion, the people said. The higher offer could come as soon as this week.

The move is meant to appease Elliott Management Corp. and several other hedge funds that had argued the original bid was too low. New York-based Elliott, which owns a 7.2% stake, had been among the most vocal advocates for a higher price, arguing that NXP, the world’s largest developer of chips for automobiles, was worth at least $135 a share. It cited NXP’s better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings among other factors.

NXP, headquartered in the Netherlands but listed in New York, last traded at $118.50 a share, a strong signal of investor expectations of a higher offer.

Under the deal terms, first announced October 2016, Qualcomm at a minimum needs support from NXP shareholders holding 80% of the company’s shares.

That threshold gave NXP shareholders considerable leverage to block the deal, putting pressure on Qualcomm to raise its bid. Qualcomm is expected to receive substantial support for the revised offer, helping to ensure it can complete the acquisition, according to the people familiar with the matter.

In addition to shareholder support, Qualcomm is still seeking approval from Chinese antitrust authorities.

Write to Ben Dummett at

Seeking post-Brexit unity, EU leaders find more fights

February 18, 2018


© AFP/File / by Danny KEMP | European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker was picked after European elections in 2014 by a controversial “Spitzenkandidat” system — German for “lead candidate”

BRUSSELS (AFP) – EU leaders face difficult talks this week on the thorny issues of how to plug holes in the post-Brexit budget and choose a successor for European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker.A special one-day summit in Brussels on Friday of the 27 leaders without Britain is meant to be a key step in the roadmap to a leaner and more unified bloc after Britain leaves in just over a year.

But cracks have already appeared between French President Emmanuel Macron, leading the charge for a reformed Europe, and Juncker with his federalist vision of how top EU officials should be chosen in future.

The row means the EU’s attempts to overcome the shock of losing a major member are running into the classic problems that have bedevilled it for its six decades of existence: money and sovereignty.

Juncker was picked after European elections in 2014 by a controversial “Spitzenkandidat” system — German for “lead candidate” — under which the political group with the most votes gets to nominate its candidate for the job.

Both the European Parliament and Juncker back a repeat after the May 2019 European election, saying it gives the public a direct say in who heads the commission, the EU’s powerful executive arm.

– ‘Right and obligation’ –

European Council President Donald Tusk — who coordinates summits and represents the EU member states — is expected to lay out options at the summit, including whether to continue with the Spitzenkandidat system.

Leaders are expected to say it is their own “right and obligation” to choose the commission chief, while “taking into account” the views of parliament, as the EU treaties state, an EU source told AFP.

Many national leaders are bitterly opposed to the Spitzenkandidat process, saying it sidelines democratically elected heads of government in favour of a backroom deal by Brussels-based political parties, and also makes the job of commission chief too political.

Macron this week slammed the Brussels establishment as ideologically incoherent and called for a “political revamp” to give the commission a clear mandate, defined by the national leaders.

Juncker however said earlier this week that the Spitzenkandidat system was “completely logical”. He also called for the commission chief’s job to be merged with Tusk’s.

The row has become particularly fierce after the European Parliament earlier this month dealt Macron a slap by voting against “transnational lists” — which would allow 30 of the 73 seats vacated by Britain to be elected on pan-European tickets, instead of directly to constituencies.

“Why should we have Spitzenkandidaten if we have no transnational list for elections?!” Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel tweeted.

– Fixing a hole –

Filling the hole that Brexit leaves in the EU’s multi-year budget from 2020 threatens to open up even deeper divisions — but this time between member states themselves.

Tusk will ask the leaders at the summit whether they want to increase the budget, decrease it or keep it the same, sources said.

EU Budget Commissioner Guenther Oettinger has said that Britain’s exit could leave a hole of as much as between 12 and 15 billion euros ($15-19 billion) and suggested that contributions be increased to between 1.1 percent and 1.2 percent of GDP from the current level of one percent of GDP in the 2014-2020 budget.

The Netherlands, Denmark, Austria, Sweden and Finland, all net contributors, are said to be against that idea.

Warnings by Oettinger of cuts on agriculture — a bugbear for France — and “cohesion funds” that benefit poorer eastern European states are also likely to go down badly.

But there is little appetite for suggestions that the EU could try to bring countries like Poland and Hungary into line on issues including the rule of law and migration by making cohesion funds “conditional” on good behaviour.

With these tensions in the background it is no surprise that the EU has been stressing the need for unity in Brexit talks with Britain.

Tusk is expected to ask leaders on Friday if they want to push ahead next month with issuing negotiating red lines on a post-Brexit future relationship with Britain.

Uncertainty over Britain’s wishes, and difficulties in negotiations on a post-Brexit transition period, could push that back.

by Danny KEMP

Netherlands recalls ambassador from Turkey — “We could not reach an agreement on how to normalize relations.”

February 6, 2018

The spat between the Netherlands and Ankara stems from the Dutch refusal to allow Turkish ministers to campaign for a 2017 referendum. The Dutch foreign ministry said repeated efforts to normalize relations have failed.

Türkei Proteste in Istanbul gegen die Niederlande (picture-alliance/abaca/AA/S.Z. Fazlioglu)

The Netherlands has officially withdrawn its ambassador from Turkey, the Dutch foreign ministry said in a statement on Monday.

The ministry added that it will not allow a new Turkish ambassador in Amsterdam as long as there is no Dutch ambassador in Ankara.

Despite recent talks between the two countries, Foreign Minister Halbe Zijlstra said “we could not reach an agreement on how to normalize relations.”

The Dutch foreign ministry has “paused” talks with Turkey on resolving the matter, it said.

Riot police clash with protesters in RotterdamProtests erupted in Rotterdam in March last year after a Turkish minister was denied permission to address a campaign rally ahead of Turkish referendum

Turkish referendum 

The withdrawal of the ambassador is a largely symbolic gesture as the diplomat has been barred from Turkey since March 2017, when relations between the two countries took a downward turn over the Dutch refusal to allow Turkish ministers to campaign in the Netherlands ahead of a referendum.

Protests erupted in Rotterdam after the Netherlands expelled Turkey’s Family Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kayar before she could address a campaign rally of Dutch-Turkish citizens in favor of the vote which sought to expand the powers of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The Turkish government demanded an apology for the minister’s treatment from Prime Minister Mark Rutte and blocked the Dutch ambassador, who was not in Turkey at the time, from returning to Turkey.

The referendum also strained relations between Germany and Turkey after German authorities canceled several rallies where Turkish officials were expected to speak in favor of the constitutional amendments.

ap/rt (AFP, Reuters, AP)

Cambodia arrests foreigners for ‘pornographic dancing’

January 29, 2018

In this photo dated Jan. 27, 2018, issued by Cambodian National Police, a group of foreigners stand after they were arrested for “dancing pornographically” at a party in Siem Reap town, near the country’s famed Angkor Wat temple complex. (AP)
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia: Cambodian prosecutors charged 10 foreigners Sunday with producing pornographic pictures after they were arrested at a party in Siem Reap town, near the country’s famed Angkor Wat temple complex.
Police said they raided a rented villa on Thursday where the foreigners were taking part in what organizers billed as a pub crawl and found people “dancing pornographically.” While almost 90 foreigners were detained, all but 10 were released.
The 10 arrested are five British nationals, two Canadians, one Norwegian, one New Zealander and one from the Netherlands. A statement on the arrests posted on the National Police website Sunday included photos showing clothed young adults rolling around together on a dance floor.
The prosecutor of the Siem Reap provincial court, Samrith Sokhon, told The Associated Press by phone that those charged face up to a year in prison if convicted.
He said after producing the photos, the foreigners shared them on social media.
“Any people producing pornography is contrary to Cambodia’s traditions,” he said.
The United Kingdom’s Foreign Office confirmed they were in contact with British nationals in Cambodia.
“We are assisting five British men arrested in Cambodia and are providing support to their families,” the office said in an emailed response to questions from the AP.

French fishermen blockade Calais over electric pulse fishing — “The Dutch have wrecked the sea. There are no more fish.”

January 25, 2018


© AFP / by Julia PAVESI with Clare BYRNE in Paris | A protest against pulse fishing ground Calais, France’s busiest passenger port, caused delays for travellers and hauliers on both sides of the Channel

CALAIS (FRANCE) (AFP) – French fishermen protesting losses caused by electric pulse fishing in the North Sea blockaded the port of Calais on Thursday, backing up traffic on one of Europe’s busiest shipping routes.A dozen fishing trawlers blocked access to the quayside in Calais, France’s biggest passenger port, causing delays for travellers and hauliers on the other side of the Channel.

“The Port of Calais is closed due to the French fisherman blockade. Currently no ships movements in the port,” British ferry company P&O tweeted.

 Image result for news for French fishermen blockade, photos

Pulse fishing involves fitting nets with electrodes and pulling them above the seabed. The electric current sends shocks through the sediment, forcing the fish up out of the sand into the trawler’s nets.

The method is widely used by Dutch vessels fishing for sole, raising the hackles of the French, who say it harms fish stocks, even though less than one percent of European trawlers use it.

“The Dutch have wrecked the sea. There are no more fish,” said Christian Dubois, the Calais-based representative of a fishing industry body.

A spokeswoman for P&O said two car ferries were waiting in the English port of Dover to cross and two others were stuck in Calais.

Danish shipping company DFDS, which also runs ferries between France and Britain, said two of its vessels were delayed in Dover and one in Calais.

The fishermen eventually accepted to allow one ferry through towards England every hour, a source in the port authority said.

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Fishermen are angry

P&O was directing some customers towards the Channel tunnel while DFDS was rerouting some of its ferries through the French port of Dunkirk, about 30 kilometres (20 miles) north of Calais.

Access to Boulogne-sur-Mer, France’s biggest fishing port, about 30 kilometres southwest of Calais, was also disrupted.

Two French trawlers blockaded access to the part of the port where Dutch vessels unload their catches and a dozen fishermen blocked a main road leading to the port.

DFDS France’s director of operations, Sebastien Douvry, warned that the blockade in Calais would leave truckers vulnerable to migrants who mob lorries and try to climb aboard in order to smuggle into Britain.

– Culinary cause celebre –

Pulse fishing has become a cause celebre in France, prompting a boycott by 200 top European chefs of seafood netted using the technique.

French environmentalists allege that pulse fishing produces catches of poor quality and leaves the fish bruised — claims disputed by the Dutch, who invented the experimental trawling method.

Dubois demanded 30,000 euros in state aid per French trawler over three years to offset the alleged impact on fish stocks.

European institutions are at odds over the issue, with the EU’s commissioner for fisheries arguing that the use of electric currents is safer for the environment than methods that plough up the seabed.

Under current EU rules, member states can equip up to five percent of their fleets with electrodes.

Some 84 Dutch boats use the practice, alongside three Belgian vessels.

But this month the European Parliament defied Brussels, which wants to extend the practice, by calling for an outright ban.

The parliament, the EU’s only directly elected body, will now try to strike a compromise with the European Commission, the bloc’s executive, and the European Council, which groups the 28 member states.

by Julia PAVESI with Clare BYRNE in Paris

Tax Change Aims to Lure Intellectual Property Back to the U.S.

January 24, 2018

Tech firms and drug makers often hold foreign rights for their IP in a company based in a low-tax country

U.S. companies rich in intellectual property are looking at a new tax-friendly regime: the U.S.

A provision in the newly revised U.S. tax code slashes the income tax companies pay on royalties from the overseas use of intellectual property or so-called intangible assets, such as licenses and patents.

The new tax break, for what is dubbed foreign-derived intangible income, effectively reduces tax on foreign income from goods and services produced in the U.S. using patents and other intellectual property to 13.125% until the end of 2025, after which the rate rises to 16.4%. Previously, royalties paid to a unit in the U.S. would have been taxed similarly to other U.S. income, for which the top corporate tax rate was 35%. The new headline corporate rate is 21%.

The deduction is meant to induce companies with large U.S. operations and significant foreign income from patent royalties to base more of those assets in the U.S. Such companies, especially in technology and pharmaceutical sectors, often hold foreign rights for their IP in a company based in a low-tax country.

The new U.S. deduction comes as Ireland is set to phase out, by the end of 2020, the most storied version of this maneuver, the Double Irish—which has been used by large firms, including Facebook Inc., Google parent Alphabet Inc. and drugmaker Allergan PLC.

Previous Coverage

How Etsy Crafted a Tax Strategy in Ireland (Aug. 16, 2015)
Facebook May Owe Billions More in Taxes (July 28, 2016)
Ireland to Appeal EU’s Apple Tax Ruling (Sept. 2, 2016)
What Does Closing the Double Irish Tax Loophole Mean for Pharma (Oct 15, 2014)

The Double Irish is a structure that allows companies to reduce taxable income by setting up two entities—an Irish-registered parent based in a tax haven such as Bermuda that houses a company’s foreign IP rights, and an Irish subsidiary, which licenses the IP and pays royalties in turn. Since Ireland doesn’t tax the royalties paid, the company’s tax bill is effectively reduced.

The structure was particularly attractive to U.S. companies, which could also stockpile foreign profits abroad without paying U.S. taxes—something they may no longer be able to do under the new code because it includes a set of minimum taxes on foreign income. Tax advisers estimate that hundreds of companies have used the Double Irish to move tens of billions of dollars a year to low- or no-tax jurisdictions.

The Google unit in Ireland that sells ads across Europe, for instance, has paid tens of billions of euros in royalty fees for the use of Google’s intellectual property to a unit in the Netherlands that then pays nearly all those fees to an Irish company that is managed in Bermuda, where there is no corporate income tax, according to corporate filings in the Netherlands and Ireland. In 2016, Google’s Dutch entity reported paying nearly €16 billion ($19.6 billion) to that unit, filings show.

Spokesmen for Google and Facebook declined to comment. Both companies previously have said they pay all taxes that they owe. An Allergan spokesman said the firm is committed to investing both in the U.S. and its operations in Ireland.

In recent years, pressure from countries in Europe and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a group of rich nations, has led to an update of tax rules that generally requires companies to keep their IP in places where they have substantial operations. That has led countries, including Ireland, to close loopholes that allowed structures like the Double Irish to exist and has set off a race among companies to find a new home for their IP.

For companies that produce much of their intellectual property on American soil, the U.S. is now an option, advisers say.

“Now the U.S. has to enter your consideration, absolutely,” said Anna Scally, head of the tech and media practice in Ireland for accounting firm KPMG. She added that firms are currently crunching numbers to find the best alternative locales that comply with tax rules. “It’s not a slam dunk,” Ms. Scally said of the U.S. “But it is an option.”

Many countries have updated their tax codes to comply with the new tax rules—and in hopes of drawing multinational companies to their shores.

Among the options for companies are locales such as Malta, which despite a high headline corporate tax rate gives significant tax breaks, including for royalties, and has a tax treaty with Ireland that would allow an Irish-registered company to be managed there after 2020, similar to the Double Irish, according to tax advisers. In a report last fall, the charity Christian Aid Ireland, which says it fights against tax injustice, dubbed the structure the “Single Malt.”

Other options include the U.K., the Netherlands and Luxembourg, which have enacted special low-tax regimes for some IP income, in the range of 10% to 15%. Advisers say Ireland remains a leading option even without the Double Irish because its corporate tax rate is 12.5% and many tech companies already have a large presence in that country.

The U.S.’s elevation as a tax-efficient locale may face challenges from other countries that claim the new foreign-derived tax deduction is an unfair trade subsidy, tax advisers say. Also, the effective FDII rate is set to rise to 16.4% in 2025—without taking into account additional U.S. state taxes—and could make the break less attractive.

The possibility of a political reversal has also made businesses more cautious, experts say.

“I don’t think any firm would be well served by betting the ranch on the stability of the new tax law,” said Edward Kleinbard, a former U.S. tax official who is now a tax professor at the University of Southern California law school.

U.S. companies are holding more than $2.6 trillion in profits across the globe and they haven’t paid U.S. taxes on it. Why is so much money offshore, and how could the tax code be changed to bring it back? WSJ’s tax reporter Richard Rubin dives in. Photo: Heather Seidel/The Wall Street Journal

Write to Sam Schechner at


America needs a solution to bring back stolen intellectual property
The Hill
— 12/21/17 09:00No automatic alt text available.
America needs a solution to bring back stolen intellectual property
© Getty Images

Intellectual property theft is a huge problem for America. The Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property estimates that it costs U.S. innovators and consumers hundreds of billions of dollars each year.
Innovation drives this economy. The nation’s future prosperity hinges on our ability to protect new ideas as they come along. But what can we do about intellectual property that’s already been stolen?

When addressing international theft, lawmakers often reference the Committee of Foreign Investment in the United States, an interagency group that reviews proposed foreign investments in domestic companies that might carry risks to our national security.
The committee, commonly referred to as CFIUS, is involved in protecting against the illicit transfer of intellectual property. It evaluates whether a proposed transaction is part of a foreign government’s industrial espionage efforts to obtain American commercial secrets.

President Trump’s recently released national security strategy states that the White House will work with Congress to strengthen CFIUS, but it doesn’t say how, or in what way. Moreover, it’s hard to see how even a seriously beefed up committee could bring back stolen intellectual property.

For starters, it has a specific mission. The committee doesn’t review all foreign investments. Only those that may adversely affect U.S. national security fall under its purview. Given the rising number of investments into the United States, the committee’s plate is already full.

Moreover, the committee has no authority to prevent theft when there is no foreign investment involved. Nor does it have any authority over — or power to bring back — what’s already been stolen. Frankly, that’s how it should be. But obviously, we need to do more to combat intellectual property theft.

Recently, the House Financial Services Subcommittee convened a hearing to explore just how the U.S. government should respond to the legal and illegal transfers of U.S. technology abroad.

The best way to deal with illegal transfers is also the most obvious: Uphold the rule of law by taking legal action against foreign companies that steal intellectual property from American companies. Several types of action are possible.

The federal government could punish thieves by limiting their access to U.S. financial markets, slapping them with fines, or both. Washington could further protect American intellectual authority by imposing penalties on customers of the thieves. These are companies and individuals that knowingly use stolen intellectual property.

The president already has the authority to sanction under the industrial espionage section of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. The commission recommended using that authority back in February.

CFIUS doesn’t need to be reformed to deal with intellectual property that’s already been stolen. That is not and should not be its job. Yes, the committee needs more resources, but it needs them just to keep up with its existing responsibilities. Loading up this already overburdened committee with even more responsibilities is not the way to go.

In dealing with the transfer of technology abroad, the committee plays an important role in protecting intellectual property. But the committee is not the right mechanism for recovering the billions of dollars taken from Americans through intellectual property theft.

Riley Walters is a research associate for the economy and technology in the Asian Studies Center at The Heritage Foundation.




Qualcomm Set to Win European Backing for $39 Billion NXP Buy

January 11, 2018

European Union conditional antitrust approval of the deal could come as soon as next week

BRUSSELS—Qualcomm Inc. is set to clinch conditional European Union antitrust approval for its $39 billion acquisition of NXP Semiconductors NV, as soon as next week, according to people familiar with the matter, as the company fends off unsolicited bids by Broadcom Ltd.

The EU opened an in-depth probe into the Qualcomm-NXP deal last June on concerns the deal could lead to higher prices, less choice and reduced innovation in the semiconductor industry. Qualcomm has since made commitments to assuage those fears.


Qualcomm’s commitments include a pledge not to buy Netherlands-based NXP’s standard essential patents, plus assurances that rival products will still function with NXP’s, according to one of the people familiar with the matter.

The European Commission said in June it was concerned the merged company would hold strong market positions in both cellular chipsets and chips for near-field communications, incentivizing it to exclude rival suppliers from the market or modify NXP’s current intellectual property licensing practices. The EU also said the deal might remove competition for chips used in the automotive sector.

Qualcomm agreed to buy NXP in October 2016, in a deal that would make it one of the top suppliers of chips used in cars, at a time when manufacturers are building automobiles with greater computer power and self-driving models develop.

The U.S. has already cleared the deal, but the merger still faces review from other jurisdictions, including China.

The Financial Times has reported the EU’s clearance could come as soon as next week.

Qualcomm’s merger with NXP would enlarge the company, just as Broadcom has been angling to take it over. Broadcom, which is currently co-headquartered in San Jose, Calif. and Singapore, launched a bid in November for Qualcomm that was rejected by the latter’s board. Broadcom has since proposed replacing Qualcomm’s board of directors and the matter will be put to a shareholder vote in March.

If a deal is reached, it would face scrutiny from regulators in multiple countries over market dominance, innovation and national security.

The EU continues to scrutinize Qualcomm’s behavior in other areas. The commission formally accused Qualcomm in 2015 of illegally paying Apple Inc. to exclusively use its chips and selling chips below cost to force a competitor, Icera Inc., out of the market. Qualcomm has previously said its sales practices “have always complied with European competition law.”

Qualcomm, based in San Diego, is the largest supplier of chips for mobile devices, including baseband chips that provide cellular connections and processors that run smartphone applications.

However, Qualcomm earns most of its profits from charging handset makers royalties for using its cellular patents. Most government investigations so far have focused on its licensing practices.

The U.S. chip maker’s legal woes grew in 2017 after Apple opened a legal battle against it by suing Qualcomm in the U.S. and later in China and the U.K.—building on international resistance to Qualcomm’s patent-licensing business that has included antitrust investigations and fines in China, South Korea and the U.S.

Write to Natalia Drozdiak at

US and Poland strike $10.5 billion missile defense deal

November 18, 2017

The US has approved the $10.5 billion sale of a Patriot anti-missile system to NATO ally Poland. Eastern European NATO states have been ramping up their military capabilities in the face of perceived Russian aggression.

Polish President Andrzej Duda welcomes Donald Trump during state visit in July 2017 (Reuters/C. Barria)

In a move likely to irk Russia, the US and Poland agreed on Friday a major arms deal that could see the eastern European NATO member soon begin conducting air and missile defense operations.

As part of the $10.5 billion (€8.9 billion) sale, Poland is expected to receive 208 Patriot Advanced Capabilty-3 (PAC-3) Missile Segment Enhancement missiles, 16 M903 launching stations, four AN/MPQ-65 radars, four control stations, spares, software and associated equipment.

Read moreNATO in a nutshell: What you need to know

Made by US defense contractor Raytheon, the missiles are reportedly designed to detect, track and engage unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), cruise missiles and short-range or tactical ballistic missiles.

In a statement issued following the sale, the State Department said that: “A secure Europe capable of deterring air and missile threats and other forms of aggression promotes peace and stability within NATO and on the European continent.”

The transaction still requires congressional approval, since any sale of advanced military technology to another country requires special permission. Congress has 15 days to raise any objections to the deal, although this agreement is expected to pass swiftly, given the close military ties between the two countries.

During US President Donald Trump’s visit  to Warsaw in July, the US and Poland signed a memorandum of intent for weapons sales.

Poland is one of a handful of eastern European nations that has increasingly built up their military capacity in the face of potential Russian aggression, following the 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

Read more: Eastern Europe’s defense industry: from boom to bang?

Last year Russia deployed nuclear-capable Iskaner missiles on its Kaliningrad exclave bordering Lithuania and Poland. The move rattled NATO members, and prompted members, including the US and Germany, to begin carrying out military drills in the region.

Poland joins the Netherlands, Germany, Spain and Greece as one of the few European countries in possession of a Patriot air-defense system. The US has also recently deployed a Patriot battery in Lithuania as part of the multinational NATO exercises in the Baltic region.