Kyle Bass: Broadcom-Qualcomm deal shouldn't be allowed to go through

  • Intellectual property theft by China is the longer-term problem, the hedge fund manager said.
  • Broadcom's proposed merger with Qualcomm is a threat to the development of the U.S.'s mobile communication network.
  • President Trump says the U.S. is acting swiftly on intellectual property theft.

Hedge fund manager Kyle Bass said possible U.S. job losses from steel and trade tariffs are a small price to pay now for fighting back against bigger long-term trade issues like intellectual property theft by China.

Bass also told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" on Wednesday that Broadcom's proposed merger with Qualcomm should not be allowed to go through because of Qualcomm's important position developing the technology that underpins the nation's mobile communications network.

The U.S. government is also worried about the issue. The Treasury Department wrote a letter Monday to lawyers involved in the deal expressing concern about Chinese competitors in 5G network development, which raises national security concerns over the Broadcom-Qualcomm merger.

"We can't possibly let the Broadcom-Qualcomm merger go through," Bass said on CNBC. "We can't possibly allow that technology and that technological know-how" to fall into the hands of others.

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump said on Twitter that the U.S. was "acting swiftly on Intellectual Property theft. We cannot allow this to happen as it has for many years!"

Trump has proposed a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum imports, sparking fears of a trade war. Bass said, however, from a national security perspective "we think the Trump administration is focused in the right place."

A Broadcom spokesman referred to a statement on Monday that the company was "fully committed" to cooperating with the government's review of the merger.

On Wednesday, Broadcom said it would create a new $1.5 billion fund with a focus on innovation to train and educate the next generation of engineers in the U.S. "This will ensure America's lead in future wireless technology," Broadcom said.

It also promised to spend money on research and development of 5G technology.

Bass is the founder and managing partner of Hayman Capital Management, where he gained a reputation for betting against subprime mortgages during the financial crisis.