Broadcom May Be Bought Over By Intel After Finalising Qualcomm Purchase

Big Booths of CES 2018 Central Hall

Big Booths of CES 2018 Central Hall

Broadcom is continuing its efforts to try and acquire Qualcomm. The report, which cited multiple anonymous sources, said that Intel has considered making its own bid for the combined company, and was working with advisers. However, the odds of the latter deal have come down recently as the two sides jockey for position and USA regulators have begun to get involved.

Broadcom's $117 billion bid for Qualcomm has warped into a complex fight over regulatory approvals, security nerves about China's influence on global mobile networks and the best way forward financially for one of the world's dominant chipmakers.

The WSJ notes that Intel is concerned that the acquisition, if successful, would create a powerhouse in both smartphones and data centres, two areas where Intel hopes to grow. "We are in the midst of massive consolidation in the semiconductor industry". The consolidation is driven not only by economies of scale, but the need for new kinds for chips for an expanding array of new devices and a need for new kinds of processing for artificial intelligence and machine learning applications such as image and speech recognition and self-driving cars.

QS Investors LLC raised its holdings in Broadcom Ltd (NASDAQ:AVGO) by 28.4% in the fourth quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Nevertheless, the company has been preparing a range of fallback plans, including a possible acquisition of Broadcom itself. "First off, it would give Intel a much bigger footprint in mobile and IoT WiFi, Bluetooth and increased RF chip capabilities".

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As with the Broadcom-Qualcomm deal, the Intel-Broadcom deal would need to go under piercing scrutiny from regulators worldwide.

This latest twist in Broadcom's efforts to acquire Qualcomm comes after the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) has raised concerns about the deal, claiming it would put USA national security at risk. Since November, the company has been trying to acquire Qualcomm, a major provider of smartphone chips and a key rival to Intel. Early indications showed that Qualcomm was on course to lose majority control of its board to Broadcom, according to information obtained by Bloomberg.

A USA national security panel has ordered Singapore-based chipmaker Broadcom to provide it with five business days' notice before taking any action toward redomiciling to the United States, a regulatory filing this week revealed.

CFIUS had delayed Qualcomm's annual meeting by a month to April 5. But Broadcom has not given up, so it continues with its goal of acquiring this company to annex it to it.

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