Hard as it may seem to believe, Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM) - Get QUALCOMM Incorporated Report CEO Steve Mollenkopf's nearly two-year pursuit of NXP Communications Inc. (NXPI) - Get NXP Semiconductors NV Report could actually end.

Qualcomm is reportedly nearing approval from China's Ministry of Commerce, or MofCom, which has dragged on as the Trump administration has quarreled with Beijing about trade. While Qualcomm would still need NXP shareholders to tender their shares, Mollenkopf would be much closer to his goal.

"We view NXP as a missing piece to the Qualcomm strategy and is a very important deal to consummate," said Daniel Ives, an analyst with GBH Insights, of the deal, which Mollenkopf announced in late October 2016. NXP will diversify Qualcomm's heavy reliance on the mature smart phone market -- which left the company vulnerable to disputes with Apple Inc. (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. (AAPL) Report .  

The missing piece has been frustratingly difficult for Qualcomm to snap into place, even before the chipmaker encountered resistance from MofCom. If Qualcomm succeeds, expect the benefits to show up in its financials via cost synergies before we see new products melding the prowess of the two chipmakers. 

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-Ron Orol contributed to this story.

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