Broadcom May Acquire Qualcomm In Biggest Chip Tie-Up Ever

Qualcomm headquarters

Qualcomm Headquarters in San Diego

Broadcom is considering making an unsolicited offer to take over Qualcomm for more than $100 billion in what would be the biggest-ever acquisition of a chip vendor, according to multiple reports.

Broadcom is speaking to advisers about the potential deal, said the people, who asked not to be identified because talks are private. Qualcomm's shares shot up almost 13 percent in midday trading today after the report, for a valuation of about $92 billion.

Avago paid $37 billion in cash and stock for Broadcom. Qualcomm has a market cap of around $92 billion as of writing while Broadcom is worth almost $113 billion.

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Dow Jones reported Broadcom plans to make a bid for Qualcomm as early as this weekend.

Reports in The Wall Street Journal and elsewhere say Apple is contemplating kicking Qualcomm out of its devices entirely, possibly replacing it with Intel chips.

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. This week, Broadcom said it would move its headquarters from Singapore back to the us, where it lists an HQ in San Jose, California.

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Qualcomm shares are now up 12.62% to $61.76.

At issue between Qualcomm and Apple are licensing fees the chipmaker charges for patents that cover the basics of how mobile phone systems work.

The deliberations come as Qualcomm, based in San Diego, California, tries to close its $47-billion purchase of NXP Semiconductors NV. Broadcom also supplies is a major supplier of parts for Apple's iPhone, and new management might be better positioned to resolve the dispute, Bloomberg noted.

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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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