U.S. FTC files settlement proposal with Broadcom

A sign indicating the campus offices of chipmaker Broadcom Ltd is displayed in Irvine, California, United States on November 6, 2017. REUTERS / Mike Blake

WASHINGTON, July 2 (Reuters) – The United States Federal Trade Commission has filed a draft order to settle antitrust charges against semiconductor maker Broadcom Inc (AVGO.O), the agency said on Friday in a statement.

The consent order requires Broadcom to stop requiring its customers to purchase components primarily or solely from Broadcom, the FTC said.

Broadcom said in a statement that it was happy to resolve the issue. “While we do not agree that our actions violated the law and we do not agree with the FTC’s characterizations of our business, we look forward to putting this case behind us,” did he declare.

Broadcom reached a similar agreement with the European Commission in October 2020.

The FTC said Broadcom has a monopoly on three types of chips used to make set-top boxes and broadband devices.

The committee’s vote to accept the settlement was 4-0, with President Lina Khan, who joined the panel in June, not participating.

Broadcom has grown into a major supplier of WiFi and Bluetooth chips to companies like Apple Inc. . But the FTC’s complaint concerns an older segment of its business that deals with chips for wired communications, including TV set-top boxes designed for TV and broadband service providers such as AT&T Inc (TN) and Verizon. Inc (VZ.N).

Bernstein analyst Stacy Rasgon estimates the chips provided approximately $ 2.5 billion of Broadcom’s $ 23.8 billion overall revenue in its last fiscal year.

In its statement, Broadcom said that “the FTC’s investigation into our other businesses has been closed without action.”

Rasgon said some investors feared the FTC’s settlement offer “may be the tip of the iceberg” of a larger investigation, but the Broadcom statement appeared to ally those fears.

“If one of the concerns was that the (bigger) switching company would be next, then it seems safe now,” Rasgon said.

Reporting by Diane Bartz in Washington and Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; additional reporting by Akanksha Rana; edited by Jonathan Oatis and Dan Grebler

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