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Brussels — Qualcomm, locked in a lengthy fight with the European Union over antitrust fines, must woo the same regulator to win clearance for its $47bn takeover of NXP Semiconductors. The bid for NXP is the largest transaction in the history of the semiconductor industry, requiring approval from the European Commission, the EU’s competition watchdog, and other global merger authorities. For Qualcomm, it will mean going cap in hand to Brussels to get its deal through just as it fights two EU antitrust cases that could lead to possible fines as soon as next year. NXP, the biggest supplier of chips used in the automotive industry, also had a history with the EU before it was dropped from a probe into a cartel for smart cards. But that does not mean regulators are likely to give the merger a hard time. "The commission will use its knowledge of these companies and does take account, in merger-control reviews, of the past behaviour of the firms in the market," said Matthew Hall, a lawyer ...

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