Broadcom's bid for Qualcomm could shake up the chip industry

Broadcom’s proposed acquisition of Qualcomm could have big implications for the chip business. The takeover bid, which Qualcomm opposes, would propel the combined company into third place in terms of market share in the global semiconductor industry, as this chart from Statista indicates. Together, Broadcom and Qualcomm wouldn’t be quite as big as Intel or Samsung — but they wouldn’t be that far away either.

Qualcomm’s core business is designing the chip-based radios used by smartphones to connect to cellular networks, while a big part of Broadcom’s business is designing chip-based Wi-Fi and Bluetooth radios. By merging, the combined companies could become one of the dominant suppliers of smartphone components. As Hock Tan, Broadcom’s CEO, said in a statement: “This complementary transaction will position the combined company as a global communications leader with an impressive portfolio of technologies and products.”

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