Wednesday, 22 November, 2017

Broadcom may acquire Qualcomm amid existential legal battle with Apple

People crowd into the Qualcomm booth to view a series of new products during the annual Consumer Electronics Show Broadcom May Acquire Qualcomm In Biggest Chip Tie-Up Ever
Derrick Tucker | 04 November, 2017, 00:53

Semiconductor giant Broadcom is exploring a possible acquisition of $80 billion Qualcomm, according to a Bloomberg News report citing people familiar with the matter.

According to a report in the WSJ, Qualcomm, now embroiled in a number of lawsuits with Apple, is apparently about to receive an unsolicited takeover bid from semiconductor designer Broadcom.

According to that report, the potential bid appears to be in the early stages, with no final decision made yet, but is likely to be made in coming days. Qualcomm shares opened at $54.76 but shot up more than 12% on the news, valuing the company at roughly $91 billion. Broadcom rose 4.7 percent, for a market valuation of $111 billion.

Qualcomm declined to comment.

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Broadcom, a major supplier of iPhone parts that counts Apple among its largest customers, said this week it will return its headquarters to the US from Singapore.

Broadcom, based in Irvine, was acquired in 2016 by Avago Technologies, a Singapore based semiconductor outfit that has been growing through acquisitions - including LSI Corp., PLX Technology, Emulex and others. However, Apple may ditch Qualcomm altogether and develop future iPhone and iPad units that rely only on Intel modems, which would drastically affect Qualcomm's bottom line. Even though Qualcomm's component is considered to be the best, Apple is trying to get back at the company for various patent and legal issues. Qualcomm, based in San Diego, could become a key domestic asset for the company, as Broadcom already has a California co-headquarters in San Jose.

A tie-up between the two chipmakers would be the latest in the semiconductor industry that has been rapidly consolidating as companies try to capture a big share of the fast-growing market for connected devices and connected cars. Qualcomm, a major supplier of chips for wireless handsets, was up 14 percent.

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