Intel considers defensive bid for Broadcom

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According to The Wall Street Journal, Intel is reportedly looking into purchasing Broadcom, assuming Broadcom's hostile takeover of Qualcomm works out.

Sources claiming to be familiar with Intel's plans have stressed that an offer to buy Broadcom is not guaranteed, with at least one unnamed source cited as saying that a Broadcom bid is unlikely.

Broadcom has a market value of about US$104 billion. It apparently has been considering the move since late past year, after Broadcom announced its Qualcomm bid in November.

Qualcomm has sought assurances from Broadcom over potential antitrust issues.

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Shares of semiconductor company Broadcom surged following a report on Friday that Intel is considering an acquisition.

Intel a year ago finished second in global semiconductor sales with revenue of $62.8 billion.

When asked to comment on the acquisition, Intel in a statement said that it doesn't comment on rumors or speculation related to mergers. What's more, Broadcom's products could both complement Intel's and provide the solid presence in mobile chips that has largely escaped Intel, whose heritage is personal computers and whose business remains centered on PCs and computer servers. The Intel spokeswoman said, "That being said, we have made important acquisitions over the past 30 months - including Mobileye and Altera - and our focus is on integrating those acquisitions and making them successful for our customers and shareholders".

Broadcom's November approach for Qualcomm, which was rebuffed, was valued at $130bn (£93.8bn) and would have been the largest tech deal in history.

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The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States has expressed concerns that a Broadcom takeover of Qualcomm would undermine U.S. efforts to stay ahead of China in the development of 5G tech.

Broadcom is pressing ahead, vowing to cooperate with the USA review and pledging to boost investment in U.S. wireless technology to offset concerns that it would slash spending and allow foreign companies to steal the lead in the next generation of mobile technology.

Representatives of Broadcom didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. The consolidation of Qualcomm and Broadcom would already make the semiconductor industry significantly less competitive, and a possible buyout from Intel would only make the situation worse.

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