Broadcom Limited is presently consulting with advisers over a potential bid to acquire Qualcomm, Bloomberg reported on Friday, citing people with knowledge of the ongoing discussions. Some of the patents are not for technology related to Qualcomm chips, but to underlying smartphone tech like power management and display features like Force Touch.
At the company's 4G/5G Summit taking place in Hong Kong, Qualcomm has announced the first successful test of a 5G data connection on its 5G modem chip-set for mobile devices - the X50.
With its profits plummeted more than 90 percent in the latest earnings call, Qualcomm could be fighting a losing legal battle with Apple, giving Broadcom the ideal opportunity to acquire the chipmaker in what could be the largest chip business acquisition ever. Qualcomm, in suing Apple, says it is not obligated to license those like to does with industry standard technology. They closed up 13 percent at $61.81, valuing the company at $91 billion. Both Broadcom and Qualcomm have pending deals that could be affected by a merger. However, it's faced separate but related lawsuits and fines over its misuse of its market position from the US Federal Trade Commission and from regulatory authorities overseas, including a recent $774 million fine from in Taiwan.
With the introduction of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, Apple brought in Intel for its LTE chips and there have been rumors that the iPhone manufacturer might also bring in MediaTek to bring an end to the business relationship with Qualcomm.
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Broadcom did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Like Qualcomm, Broadcom is a major supplier of parts for Apple products. This week, Broadcom said it would move its headquarters from Singapore back to the us, where it lists an HQ in San Jose, California. This time the San Diego chipmaker is suing Apple for allegedly sharing proprietary Qualcomm technologies with its market rival, Intel.
Also, the $100 billion buyout would be the largest purchase of a chipmaker, so Broadcom and Qualcomm will need to make strong cases for such a purchase.