Technology

Qualcomm up after rumor of Broadcom interest

Qualcomm up after rumor of Broadcom interest

- Broadcom is considering making a takeover offer for Qualcomm that would value the chipmaker at more than $100 billion, Bloomberg reported on November 3, citing people familiar with the matter. Qualcomm is known for its Snapdragon chipsets used to power many smartphones.

The only other major supplier of high-end chips is Intel Corp, which supplies about half of the modem chips in Apple's iPhones.

With its profits plummeted more than 90 percent in the latest earnings call, Qualcomm could be fighting a losing legal battle with Apple, giving Broadcom the flawless opportunity to acquire the chipmaker in what could be the largest chip business acquisition ever.

Apple currently uses both Intel and Qualcomm modem components, but the iPhone maker is now in a dragged-out legal fight over Qualcomm patents and the fees demanded to license the technology of those patents. Qualcomm, in suing Apple, says it is not obligated to license those like to does with industry standard technology. Shares are down almost 16% this year due to legal battles with Apple and the loss of royalties from Apple and an unnamed second licensee.

Qualcomm is not aware of the details of Broadcom's bid, and it is far from certain whether it will entertain this deal, the sources said. 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.

Broadcom, meanwhile, announced it would return its corporate headquarters to the US, in San Jose.

A Qualcomm spokeswoman declined to comment. 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. As such, if Broadcom were to own Qualcomm, the resulting entity would be in a better position to negotiate with the likes of Apple and Samsung.

Also, the $100 billion buyout would be the largest purchase of a chipmaker, so Broadcom and Qualcomm will need to make strong cases for such a purchase.


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