Yours truly feels compelled to begin this call for activism with an apology: the IBM-Lenovo deal was announced over a month ago, and while this quarter was certainly upset about it, cynicism overcame any attempt to stop it. Fortunately, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States does not wait for my e-mail, and as such it has raised a red flag on the deal.
The last time CFIUS was examining a deal such as this was Hutchison Whampoa’s attempt to buy Global Crossing, which had it gone through would have put the only American firm with a global fiber optic network into the hands of a notorious Communist sympathizer, HW head Li Ka-shing. In this case, the IBM piece up for sale would go to a firm whose parent company is owned by a branch of the Communist regime itself.
The Hutchison deal fell through; the firm pulled out just after a China e-Lobby campaign to stop the deal. So it’s time to get the e-ball rolling on this one (actually it’s well past time, as mentioned in the first paragraph).
As in 2003, Gay Hartwell Sills is the Staff Chair and main point of contact for CFIUS. This link goes to a sample letter for anyone who would like to use it – feel free to copy as is, amend, or ignore. Just remember: (a) this was the office whose objections scared away HW two years ago, so some praise is in order, and (b) stick to national security issues, they are what’s most important to CFIUS.
With enough effort and a little good fortune, we may stop this deal yet!