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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser / Axios

President Trump last night took Broadcom out back and slaughtered its $117 billion pursuit of Qualcomm, in the name of national security.

For capital markets, this is unprecedented. A deal that didn't even exist has been blocked by a U.S. president, who also apparently has the power to determine who can and can't stand for election to a private-sector company's board of directors. And all of it was enabled by a regulatory body focused on foreign acquisitions of U.S. companies, even though the acquirer was scheduled to stop being "foreign" in just a few weeks.

For Broadcom, this is an unanticipated disaster. It got outplayed in D.C. by Qualcomm, and used by the White House as a proxy in the IP protection fight to come against China.

For Qualcomm, this sweet relief is only temporary. Its stock had never gotten close to Broadcom's offer price and plenty of shareholders wanted to replace the entire board. And it still hasn't been able to complete its own deal with NXP Semiconductors, nor settle its legal battles with Apple.

For Intel, this is opportunity. It could just rest easy, or could make a play for either Broadcom or Qualcomm. The former makes more strategic sense — and likely would create fewer anti-trust headaches — but it might not be able to resist the siren song of the latter's willing shareholders.

For Silver Lake, the private equity firm backing Broadcom's bid, it's the first major defeat after a series of high-wire wins. It's also likely to discourage other private equity firms from engaging in hostile takeover attempts. Sure this one had unique complications, but Broadcom's biggest hurdle was always its unwilling target.

For other CEOs, this is a lesson that cozying up to President Trump — including press conferences in which you tout new job creation, spending and even redomiciling in the U.S.— doesn't necessarily give you carte blanche.

For CFIUS, this apparently shows that it can work quickly when everyone is on its back. Just nine days ago it asked Qualcomm to delay its shareholder vote by 30 days.

For future M&A, this is a warning. The White House is more than willing to stop mergers it feels aren't in the country's best interest. Not just for national security, but also for anti-trust. Just ask AT&T or DraftKings.

Go deeper

"Atmospheric river" swings Northern California from drought to flood

Satellite view of the bomb cyclone swirling off the coast of the Pacific Northwest and the atmospheric river affecting California on Oct. 24. Photo: CIRA/RAMMB

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are delivering historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest.

Why it matters: The atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, was causing Northern California to whiplash from drought to flood, as it slowly moved south overnight. It's triggered widespread power outages, flooding and mudslides.

Updated 1 hour ago - World

U.S. threatens to cut aid to Sudan after military takeover

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok during a 2020 news conference in Khartoum, Sudan. Photo: Mahmoud Hjaj/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Sudan's civilian Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok was put under house arrest and several other ministers were detained Monday in what appears to be a military coup in the country, per local reports.

The latest: The head of the military faction of the Sudanese government, Gen. Abdul Fattah al-Burhan, said in a statement that he is announcing a state of emergency, suspending several parts of the interim constitution and dissolving the civilian government and interim sovereignty council — the highest governing body in the country.

Facebook's pivotal week

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

They're battening down the hatches at Facebook headquarters this week as the company faces a trifecta of tumult: a continuing wave of negative press coverage fueled by document leaks, a critical earnings report Monday and a reported name change looming.

The big picture: All this is unfolding as Mark Zuckerberg tries to transform Facebook from a social network into the prime mover behind a new "metaverse" of VR- and AR-driven remote work and play.