While Apple and Qualcomm are tied up in a legal battle, reports suggest that component maker Broadcom may be considering an acquisition of Qualcomm for more than $100 billion. If that deal works out, it would be the largest-ever acquisition in the chip manufacturing industry.
As reported by Bloomberg, Broadcom is speaking to advisers about the potential deal. The offer of about $70 a share would include cash and stock and is likely to be made in the coming days. A final decision on whether to proceed hasn’t been made.
This news comes after an intense legal battle between Apple and Qualcomm. Qualcomm has been trying to prevent Apple from manufacturing iPhones in China, based on a suit the company filed against Apple. ALSO READ: Ahead of iPhone 8 launch, Qualcomm says Android is the home of all ‘firsts’
“Qualcomm’s suits are based on three non-standard essential patents, it said. They cover power management and a touch-screen technology called Force Touch that Apple uses in current iPhones, Qualcomm said. The inventions “are a few examples of the many Qualcomm technologies that Apple uses to improve its devices and increase its profits,” a Qualcomm spokesperson was reported as saying by Bloomberg.
Though Qualcomm previously sought to prevent Apple from importing iPhones into the United States, taking steps to hinder the iPhone manufacturing process itself — which mostly occurs in China — clearly represents an escalation between the two companies. ALSO READ: Apple building its own chips to reduce dependence on Qualcomm, Intel: Report
On the other hand, The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple is now seriously considering dropping Qualcomm as a supply partner, a move which would prompt Apple to source its modem chips for the iPhone and iPad from Intel and perhaps MediaTek.
This legal battle started 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 complex series of countersuits has ensued, ensnaring both companies in a messy and likely to be protracted legal showdown over patent licensing and component contract deals. ALSO READ: Qualcomm sues Apple for passing on trade secrets to rival chipmaker Intel: Report