Comms chips

Rumor: Qualcomm to Buy Atheros

Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) could be on the verge of buying Atheros Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: ATHR) for $45 per share, or roughly $3.5 billion, The New York Times reported Tuesday afternoon.

Atheros was trading flat at about $37 per share Tuesday before the rumors hit the street after 3 p.m. EST. Atheros closed the day up $6.98 (19%) at $44 per share.

Why this matters
Qualcomm is a big deal in cell phones, of course, but the world seems to be getting more interested in tablet computers. Atheros's Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technologies would help Qualcomm secure some footing there; a merger would also give Qualcomm a stronger presence in laptop computers and netbooks.

Qualcomm might also be trying to go on the offense after seeing recent acquisitions by Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM) and Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC).

For more
Here's a glimpse of what Atheros and Qualcomm have been up to lately. — Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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