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Broadcom considering bid to acquire San Diego's Qualcomm

Broadcom considering bid to acquire San Diego's Qualcomm

The biggest ever takeover of a chipmaker could be brewing.

A Qualcomm representative declined comment. The unnamed sources also stressed that no final decision has been made, however, so there is still a chance for Broadcom to not proceed with a bid. Broadcom stock, meanwhile, is trading up almost 6.5 percent.

The stock of San Diego-based Qualcomm shot up 12% to $61.65 a share in midday trading Friday after reports surfaced that Broadcom was considering making an unsolicited offer.

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Five years ago, when smartphone demand was soaring, Qualcomm briefly overtook Intel in market value. As a result, there is talk that the 2018 iPhone and iPad models will feature modem chips made by Intel and MediaTek.

This comes at a time when Qualcomm itself is trying to complete a $47 billion purchase of NXP Semiconductors.

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At issue between Qualcomm and Apple are licensing fees the chipmaker charges for patents that cover the basics of how mobile phone systems work. It has faced regulatory scrutiny in Europe, and some shareholders such as activist hedge fund Elliott Management Corp. have said the deal undervalues NXP, a large maker of automotive and other chips.

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.

A tie-up between the two chipmakers would be the latest in the semiconductor industry that has been rapidly consolidating as companies try to capture a big share of the fast-growing market for connected devices and connected cars.

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