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Broadcom on Wednesday said it "learned of a fraudulent memo purported to be signed by the U.S. Department of Defense," calling for a review of its planned $18 billion takeover of software maker CA Technologies.

  • This comes just hours after Sen. Rand Paul called for a CFIUS review of the $18 billion merger. It is unknown if he saw or reviewed the four-page memo, although he did cite two statistics from it. [Update: Paul's chief strategist tweets that he didn't see it.]

Bottom line: Broadcom learned of the memo from Axios, which had received it on Monday. We had not yet been able to authenticate it, thus had not reported on it.

Broadcom's statement:

We have learned that a fraudulent memo purported to be signed by the U.S. Department of Defense (“DoD”) is circulating among Senators and members of Congress referencing the possible need for review of Broadcom’s acquisition of CA Technologies (NASDAQ: CA) by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS”). We have been informed by DoD officials that this memo is in fact a forged document.

A Defense Department spokeswoman also suggests that the document is forged, but was less definitive than was Broadcom in its statement to Axios.

"Our initial assessment is that this is likely fraudulent document."

Broadcom also claims that there is no basis for a CFIUS review, given that both it and CA are U.S.-based companies, but there is significant legal disagreement over that point.

We do know that neither company requested a CFIUS review after the merger was first announced in July, and it remains on track to close before year-end.

Go deeper

Biden plans to ask public to wear masks for first 100 days in office

Joe Biden. Photo: Mark Makela/Gettu Images

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris sat down with CNN on Thursday for their first joint interview since the election.

The big picture: In the hour-long segment, the twosome laid out plans for responding to the pandemic, jump-starting the economy and managing the transition of power, among other priorities.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
56 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus death rates rising across the country

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, Census Bureau; Cartogram: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Daily coronavirus-related deaths in the U.S. hit a new record on Wednesday, when roughly 2,800 people died from the virus.

The big picture: Caseloads and hospitalizations continue to rise, and deaths are spiking in states all across the country.

56 mins ago - World

Ratcliffe's long-term China play

Ratcliffe testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee in May. Photo: Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty Images

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe told Axios in an interview Thursday that "China and China alone is the only country that has the ability to compete with the U.S." — and hopes the intelligence community will adopt his view even under "the next administration."

Why it matters: Ratcliffe's comments suggested that he's trying to lock in the Trump era's harder line on China for the long term.