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Qualcomm rejects Broadcom (again), but open to talking more

Qualcomm says it's still not impressed with the offer laid out by Broadcom.

Is Qualcomm warming up to Broadcom?

Lenovo MIIX 630

Qualcomm's latest move is into powering detachable laptops such as the Lenovo Miix 630.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Probably not, with Qualcomm once against rejecting Broadcom's offer to acquire the mobile chip giant. This came after a meeting to discuss last week's rejected buyout offer from Broadcom.

There appeared to be some progress. Qualcomm's board stated that it's happy communications-chipmaker Broadcom has bent a little on its antitrust concerns. But while it's still not impressed with either the money or the details, the buyout remains on the table.

In a copy of the letter sent to Broadcom's president and CEO that Qualcomm posted on Friday, it states "our board found the meeting to be constructive in that the Broadcom representatives expressed a willingness to agree to certain potential antitrust-related divestitures beyond those contained in your publicly filed merger agreement." 

It went on to say that Broadcom's "final" $82 per share offer was still way too low, and that the current proposal has too many problems with potential antitrust issues that could scuttle the deal, and on terms that might leave Qualcomm in a bind: "Broadcom insists on controlling all material decisions regarding our valuable licensing business during the extended period between signing and a potential closing, which would be problematic and not permitted under antitrust laws."

Broadcom, which makes chips for everything from cable modems to set-top boxes and digital video recorders, first launched an unsolicited bid for Qualcomm, the world's largest maker of chips and processors for phones, in November. At $105 billion, or $70 a share, the acquisition would have been the biggest in tech history, surpassing AOL buying Time Warner in 2001.

A combination of the two companies would create a chip giant supplying components to a wide array of electronic gadgets found in your home or pocket. A deal would also mark a surprising turnaround from nearly a decade ago, when the companies were bitter courtroom rivals.

Broadcom did not immediately reply to a request for comment.