back to article Intel ponders Broadcom buy as Qualcomm's exec chair steps away

Intel is reportedly so discomfited by the prospect of a combined Broadcom and Qualcomm that it will consider buying Broadcom to stop the transaction. A Wall Street Journal report last Friday cited the usual anonymous people with knowledge of the deal as having heard Intel has discussed it might need to take the role of apex …

  1. whitepines Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    How is Intel buying Broadcom not a monopoly? Intel would then be able to, for instance, mandate management engines in x86 *and* much of the world's ARM processors, not to mention other less desirable "features".

    Here's hoping that kind of a deal gets blocked fast and hard!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "How is Intel buying Broadcom not a monopoly?"

      Of course it would be a monopoly, but the U.S. government has not cracked down on them since AT&T was broken-up in 1984. The Obama administration allowed over 250 googlers to join the team, TBTF banks grow ever larger, and Amazon has announced its intentions to enter the banking sector. A world-wide oligarchy is on the horizon.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Fortunately it's not just the US government that gets a say in whether or on what conditions these transnational mergers happen.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          To an extent it doesn't have to go ahead to work to Intel's advantage - if they can disrupt the planned merger, and for example force Broadcom to pay a lot more, that's a good thing as far as Intel's management are concerned. Also, Intel are worried about Qualcomm's move into server chips, where for some years Intel's faced no significant competition - a bigger, stronger BroadQualcom is not something Intel are looking for.

          As other posters have suggested, I'd rather Intel didn't start an M&A Wankathon, since they've got plenty of technical failures that their management should be focusing on. such as the IME mess, the Spectre & Meltdown flaws, the Puma chipset screwup. And they might want to think about their minimal presence in mobile and HPC, and the fact that if they go ahead with a Broadcom bid, they're morphing into a slow, lazy incumbent, more interested in skewing the market to their advantage and buying other people to eliminate threats, rather than leading by innovation. At a local level there will be plenty of Intel innovation - my point is that the company is continuing a drift away from its roots and expertise, in much the same way that IBM and HP have lost their direction.

          1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
            Coat

            "they're morphing into a slow, lazy incumbent, more interested in skewing the market to their advantage and buying other people to eliminate threats, rather than leading by innovation"

            Uh, I thought that was done already.

      2. Mage Silver badge

        US doesn't care about out of control Borgs

        This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mergers_and_acquisitions_by_Amazon

        See also

        List of mergers and acquisitions by Apple

        List of mergers and acquisitions by Facebook

        List of mergers and acquisitions by Google

        List of mergers and acquisitions by Twitter

        List of mergers and acquisitions by Microsoft

        Also Disney!

        Consumers exist to be exploited

        Foreign companies exist to be offshored to, and be sued if they try to enter US Retail

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A merger of any of these companies (to another) could be considered wielding monopoly influence.

    The interesting thing here is only one of these 3 makes their own chips - Intel.

    Though (last I heard) Intel outsources Atom chips to TSMC. If Intel purchases either of the other 2, there isn’t that much synergy, outsourcing would continue. Intel’s only benefit would be to reduce competition.

    The merger of Qualcomm with Broadcom makes some sense because both use ARM processors. But Broadcom pursuit of Qualcomm is more predatory than anything else. Broadcom in particular is more about size than products quality. Getting bigger isn’t in the public’s interest... companies with organic growth is healthier.

    There’s a lot of parallels here vs. what happened in storage. EMC’s products is a mess of other acquired companies products. After the acquisitions innovation stalls...

    1. bazza Silver badge

      It will certainly be interesting to see where this all goes.

      I think that Intel buying Broadcom makes some sense. Intel have been soundly beaten in anything mobile, largely because x86 is a terrible choice when it comes to low power high performance. It simply requires too many transistors. If Intel want to compete they're going to have to go with ARM, and acquiring Broadcom is one way of doing that. Though there'd still be a ton of development to do.

      It might make more sense if they bought Qualcomm.

      1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

        If Intel want to compete they're going to have to go with ARM

        But that would mean Intel admitting that the x86 architecture isn't perfect. In the past Intel had a variety of CPU architectures (including ARM cpus) but binned the lot.

        1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

          No architecture is "perfect". The x86 architecture is heavily tied to the PC platform, and that is just not the future anymore. PCs are on the way out, web computing on tablets or phones is in.

          Intel wants to make money first. I'm sure that Intel will scrap x86 the day it has to.

  3. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    The elephant knitting lady will have a field day

    I do not see this getting past Margrethe Vestager.

    In fact, I do not see either one of the Qualcom proposed mergers getting past her.

    The most which can happen would be a couple of more knitted elephants sitting as souvenirs to universal C-suite hubris in Intel or Broadcom boardrooms.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: The elephant knitting lady will have a field day

      Playing for time. Broadcom's leverage will get more difficult all the time especially once it relocates to the US, which it says it plans to do. Intel could probably buy Broadcom at a discount and asset strip it and sell the rest to keep the regulators happy for once. Nice to see the table turned on the private equity lot.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Here's a novel idea, how about making them all continue as independent companies which means more choice, competition and innovation.

    1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

      Here's an even more radical option: Break them up so they're not so big.

  5. mark l 2 Silver badge

    I have come to realise recently that Intel whole success seems to be reliant on their x86 processors, they consistently try to innovate in other areas but are always too late with their products or the products are not as good as their competitors. Just look at how they threw millions in R&D at Itanium to achieve a CPU not as good as the competitors. I am sure that Intel know this are well and are shit scared that if the X86 market is eroded by the likes of ARM in the data centre they have nothing else to offer.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Intel's entire business has always been been about the x86 architecture and just look at those profit margins. Not only does it know how to design good chips, it knows at least as much about making them. The server market is moving towards the cloud providers who won't need to promise compatbility to be successful.

  6. Mage Silver badge
    Flame

    Intel will consider buying Broadcom

    Only worse idea (for EVERYONE not Intel) would be Intel buying ARM, AMD, Marvell and MediaTek.

    Or even just ARM or AMD.

    1. joed

      Re: Intel will consider buying Broadcom

      I can see little benefit here but for Broadcom shareholders. I'd not surprised if all this Qualcomm drama was a setup to trick bigger player to buy them (and their debts) out.

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