Germany blocks chip supplier takeover bid

I am keenly watching these interesting chip wars. India is also planning to up the process by creating an ecosystem, and everyone suddenly becomes aware of the implications of foreign ownership of both hardware and software. Including big data that requires “localisation”.

Berlin blocks takeover of chip supplier by Taiwan rival | Financial Times

The failure of the €4.35bn deal comes at a time when governments around the world are subjecting cross-border high-tech transactions to ever greater scrutiny, amid fears about losing control over key technologies — especially in areas such as AI, cyber security and semiconductors. German authorities carried out 306 investment reviews last year, compared to just 78 in 2019 and 106 in 2020.

But government officials and industry observers also noted other factors behind Berlin’s failure to clear the deal. In recent years, the German government has toughened rules for foreign takeovers of domestic companies, introducing security reviews for deals in a range of industries including semiconductors, and allowing the state to take a stake in companies if necessary to protect them.

These are interesting trends. We are surely moving towards the idea of “splinternets”- the so called “balkanisation” of the Internet in subtle myriad ways. The days of “open internet” are numbered. We are likely to see more state-sponsored attempts to create and generate local applications and “stores” (especially for Healthcare). I remember that I had attempted to contact some German research agency for the same to see if I could pitch in my ideas. Creating applications (with UI specialists) isn’t a problem. The issue starts with data collection and further intelligence layering to isolate signals from the noise. AI (and healthcare) will increasingly get isolated to serve specific jurisdictions. We will also witness specific economic principles being rewritten.

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