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gpolit.com November 25, 2017


Chipmaker Broadcom plans unsolicited bid for Qualcomm

04 November 2017, 12:25 | Erma Lawrence

Qualcomm stock jumps on reported Broadcom interest

Broadcom May Acquire Qualcomm In Biggest Chip Tie-Up Ever

It would be the biggest-ever purchase of a semiconductor manufacturer.

Broadcom representatives are reportedly speaking with advisers regarding a potential deal. No final decisions have been made and there's no guarantee a deal will go ahead. This time the San Diego chipmaker is suing Apple for allegedly sharing proprietary Qualcomm technologies with its market rival, Intel.

- Shares in Broadcom, which makes semiconductors for networking and wireless equipment, were up almost 5 percent in afternoon trading on the Nasdaq. Qualcomm has a market cap of around $92 billion as of writing while Broadcom is worth almost $113 billion. Though the merged companies took the Broadcom name, Avago's Chief Executive Hock Tan and his executive team run the company.

Assuming Broadcom still decides to move forward with its $100 billion bid of Qualcomm, such a bid would give Broadcom significant leverage over components like Wi-Fi and cellular modem chips. Tan has said he wants more deals, a strategy that could be limited by opposition from US regulators.

Most recently, Qualcomm filed yet another lawsuit against Apple, with the chipmaker accusing the iPhone maker of breaching a software license contract.

Broadcom, meanwhile, announced it would return its corporate headquarters to the USA, in San Jose. Since then, though, smartphone sales growth has slowed and Intel has succeeded in placing its modems in some iPhone models.

Regulators are still reviewing Qualcomm's $38.1 billion proposed acquisition of NXP Semiconductors for $38.1 billion. It has faced regulatory scrutiny in Europe, and some shareholders such as activist hedge fund Elliott Management Corp. have said the deal undervalues NXP, a large maker of automotive and other chips.

Qualcomm may soon be extended a way out courtesy of Broadcom, which itself supplies Apple with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth combo chips.

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.



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