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Broadcom's $105 Billion Bid for Qualcomm Could Be the Biggest Tech Acquisition Ever

Image: Qualcomm
Image: Qualcomm

In the competition to supply the world’s ever-increasing demand for wireless modems, a bid by Broadcom to purchase Qualcomm announced on Monday could result in a major shift in power.

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With an offer of $105 billion (plus another $25 billion to cover net debt), Broadcom’s purchase of Qualcomm would be the biggest tech acquisition in history, almost doubling Dell’s $67 billion buyout of EMC back in 2015. But even more importantly, it would position Broadcom as the third largest chipmaker in the world, behind only Intel and Samsung.

Qualcomm is best known for mobile SoCs (systems on a chip) like the Snapdragon family of processors, which power everything from budget phones to flagship Android devices like the Galaxy Note 8. Qualcomm also owns a number of patents critical to wireless networking, and is the largest manufacturer of smartphone modems, including those found in Apple’s iPhones.

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Broadcom’s unsolicited offer values each share of Qualcomm at $70, which would represent a 25 percent premium over what Qualcomm shares were trading for at the end of last week. However, Broadcom’s timing seems like it’s trying to take advantage of Qualcomm’s recent legal troubles, which include fines by both South Korea and Taiwan for breaking anti-trust laws and multiple legal spats with Apple over the use and licensing of Qualcomm IP in the iPhone.

According to Bloomberg, Qualcomm is preparing to fight back the offer, though in a press release issued by the company today, Qualcomm said it will “assess the proposal in order to pursue the course of action that is in the best interests of Qualcomm shareholders”

Broadcom stated that it will honor its bid whether or not Qualcomm’s current deal to buy NXP semiconductors goes through. If Broadcom’s acquisition does end up going down, the move could create a new mobile chip powerhouse, as both companies are already listed among the top 10 chipmakers in the world.

[Bloomberg]

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Senior reporter at Gizmodo, formerly Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag. Was an archery instructor and a penguin trainer before that.

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DISCUSSION

Delightful news for me, since I own some of their stock (just a few shares). I only bought it because I had a weird dream with all sorts of mathematical equations, and weird letters on a whiteboard (none of which I understood at all). I looked some of them up on the internet, followed the patent that I found associated with them through a few owners, and traced it to Qualcomm. I threw a little money on it when it when the stock was down (just for the hell of it) and now, thanks to this, its way up! For once, nightmares pay off!