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Qualcomm shares spike on reports of planned Broadcom bid

04 November 2017

Semiconductor giant Broadcom is exploring a possible acquisition of $80 billion Qualcomm, according to a Bloomberg News report citing people familiar with the matter.

Broadcom is speaking to advisers about the potential deal, said the people, who asked not to be identified because talks are private.

No final decisions have been made and there is no guarantee a deal will go ahead.

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Qualcomm shares rose as much as 19 percent in NY in their biggest intraday move since October 2008, after Bloomberg News first reported the takeover plans. 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.

The saga kicked off almost a year ago, in January 2017, when Apple first filed a lawsuit against Qualcomm for allegedly abusing its market position to extract more money from hardware manufacturers.

A tie-up between Broadcom and Qualcomm could help alleviate the damage from that battle, however. Broadcom now lists Singapore and San Jose as co-headquarters.

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Broadcom, based in Irvine, was acquired in 2016 by Avago Technologies, a Singapore based semiconductor outfit that has been growing through acquisitions - including LSI Corp., PLX Technology, Emulex and others.

Qualcomm finds itself in a weakened state. A subsequent report in the Wall Street Journal said the bid could come as early as this weekend.

Before today, its shares had slumped 16 percent this year, compared with a 41 percent surge in the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index - in part due to an escalating legal battle with Apple that's costing revenue and jeopardizing the business model that for years made Qualcomm one of the most successful chipmakers in the world. Apple, in suing Qualcomm, thinks the company is nonetheless overcharging for use industry standard patents, which the law requires be licensed out on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (or "FRAND") terms.

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Qualcomm shares spike on reports of planned Broadcom bid