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Mobile Communications

Broadcom raises its offer for Qualcomm to $120 billion

If Broadcom gets its way, there could be one booth fewer at next year's Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona.

The semiconductor manufacturer upped its takeover bid for smartphone microprocessor maker Qualcomm on Monday, saying this is its final offer.

Chips from one or other of the two are inside most smartphones -- and many other devices found in corporate IT infrastructure where they power storage and wired and wireless networking.

A merger of the two could result in greater synergies in design and development -- or it could allow a single, powerful supplier to jack up prices in some markets.

Last November Broadcom offered to acquire Qualcomm for US$70 per share, or around $103 billion, but Qualcomm's board rejected the bid, saying it wanted tens of billions more.

It's almost got it: Broadcom has increased its offer to $82 per share, or over $120 billion.

Qualcomm is in the middle of a giant acquisition of its own, seeking to buy chip maker NXP Semiconductors. Broadcom made its latest offer conditional on Qualcomm closing that deal at the current offer price, or walking away from the deal: It's OK with raising its own bid, but doesn't want its target spending any more money.

The offer for Qualcomm dwarf sBroadcom's last big acquisition, in which it paid $5.5 billion to acquire Brocade, a manufacturer of networking hardware for data centers.

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