Tech

Foxconn Announces Purchase Of American Tech Giant. But Will Trump Block It?

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Eric Lieberman Managing Editor
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Foxconn, a powerful Taiwanese company that partners with Apple for iPhone manufacturing, announced Tuesday it is purchasing Belkin, a major American electronics firm.

But — as the Trump administration has so far been known to do — the prospective acquisition could be blocked.

The foreign corporation is set to pay $866 million to secure Belkin, which also includes brands like Linksys, a familiar home router, and Wemo, a nascent but growing smart home system.

“FIT [Foxconn Interconnect Technology] is excited to acquire Belkin and its capabilities in the premium consumer products space,” FIT CEO Sidney Lu said in a statement. “Integrating Belkin’s best-in-class capabilities and solutions into FIT, we expect to enrich our portfolio of premium consumer products and accelerate our penetration into the smart home.”

Belkin leadership is also apparently happy with the amalgamation.

“This move will accelerate our vision of delivering technology that makes the lives of people around the world better, more convenient and more fulfilling,” said Chet Pipkin, CEO and founder of Belkin International. “I am thrilled to take our brand portfolio of Belkin, Linksys, Wemo and Phyn to new heights.”

President Donald Trump blocked Singapore-based Broadcom Limited’s planned takeover of U.S. chip chipmaker Qualcomm earlier in March, determining after an investigation that the foreign company “might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States.” The Department of Justice also took action against a once-seemingly imminent deal between AT&T and Time Warner by levying a fair competition lawsuit.

Foxconn could potentially pose enough of an ostensible threat to the U.S. government, as possible concerns may arise over a Taiwanese company taking control of electronics oft-used by Americans. U.S. lawmakers, as well top intelligence officials, have on multiple occasions expressed deep-seated skepticism over the use of services and devices from other tech companies in the region. (RELATED: FCC May Punish US Carriers That Make Deals With China’s Huge Huawei, Says Report)

Also, Foxconn has a reputation of poor workplace conditions, almost certainly well below the standards that the United States typically accepts. Not so rarely, factory workers at Foxconn facilities have taken their own lives by jumping from a window. It reportedly happened enough that certain factories were equipped with nets on the sides of windows to catch people trying to commit suicide while on the clock. (RELATED: The iPhone X Is Being Illegally Put Together At Foxconn By Student Interns, Says Report)

The White House did not respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment in time of publication. The story will be updated to reflect official insight if or when given.

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