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04 November 2017, 12:57 | Ruben Fields
Albert Gea Reuters
Sources familiar with the matter tell Bloomberg that Broadcom is exploring the possibility of acquiring rival semiconductor maker Qualcomm. Broadcom's plan to move its home address to the US from Singapore would free its $5.5 billion deal for USA network provider Brocade Communications Systems from a review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.
Qualcomm's shares have been trading in the low $50s for much of this year - down about 15 percent because of its fierce legal battle with Apple and hefty fines/lawsuits from anti-monopoly regulators in the U.S., South Korea and Taiwan.
Such a deal would cap an ongoing consolidation of the semiconductor industry.
Broadcom was created past year when Tan's Avago Technologies Ltd. bought Irvine-based chipmaker Broadcom Corp. for $37 billion and then adopted the Broadcom name for the combined company. Tan has said he wants more deals, a strategy that could be limited by opposition from USA regulators.
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Broadcom, created in 2016 when Avago Technologies Ltd. acquired then-Broadcom Corp. for $37-billion, said this week it will return its headquarters to the US from Singapore. 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. A legal battle with Apple is costing revenue and jeopardizing a business model that for years made Qualcomm one of the most successful chipmakers. The Wall Street Journal quickly confirmed the news in its own report.
Qualcomm, based in San Diego, is also confronting headwinds in closing its $47 billion purchase of NXP Semiconductors. Broadcom already provides Apple with components present in the iPhone and the acquisition could mean it will become enlarged enough to become the third-largest chipmaker, trailing behind Samsung and Intel.
Qualcomm may soon be extended a way out courtesy of Broadcom, which itself supplies Apple with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth combo chips.
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