2 of the World's Biggest Chipmakers May Merge

Broadcom offers $103B for Qualcomm
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 6, 2017 2:22 PM CST
2 of the World's Biggest Chipmakers May Merge
In this file photo from Thursday, Broadcom CEO Hock Tan speaks at the White House as President Trump listens during an event to announce the company is moving its global headquarters to the United States.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

Broadcom made an unsolicited $103 billion offer for rival chipmaker Qualcomm, the tech industry's largest attempted takeover that is destined to come under intense regulatory scrutiny, the AP reports. The company said Monday that it wouldn't have pushed forward with the proposed buyout if it wasn't confident that its global customers "would embrace" the move. It wasn't clear who Broadcom was referring to, but Apple is Qualcomm's biggest customer. Qualcomm and Apple have been locked in a long-running legal battle, with Apple refusing to pay any royalties owed to Qualcomm for some of the features in the iPhone. Industry analysts believe that if Apple doesn't challenge the deal, it's one hurdle that Broadcom will have cleared.

"Given Apple's significance, we believe this deal will not go forward unless Apple is on board," wrote analysts with William Blair. William Blair's Anil Doradla also wrote Broadcom's recent decision to move its legal home from Singapore to the US would likely take a "more amiable approach toward handset industry players" and try to resolve Qualcomm's existing legal disputes. President Trump appeared with Broadcom CEO Hock Tan last week, saying the company will relocate to the United States. There has already been broad consolidation in the computer chip sector, and a tie-up between the two giant companies would create a massive producer. Qualcomm, based in San Diego, said that it's reviewing the bid and that it will have no comment until that review is completed by its board.

(Read more Broadcom stories.)

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