Intel could be considering a bid to acquire Broadcom to keep it from creating a powerhouse competitor, according to a report Friday in The Wall Street Journal.
Purchasing the Irvine, Calif.-based chipmaker is one of several options Intel and its advisors are evaluating as they monitor Broadcom's efforts to buy rival chipmaker Qualcomm, the newspaper reported.
Last month, the board of San Diego, Calif.-based Qualcomm unanimously rejected a $121 billion acquisition offer from Broadcom, arguing that amount didn't fairly value the company.
The proposal, according to Qualcomm's board of directors, didn't ascribe any value to Qualcomm's NXP acquisition in 2016, or the expected resolution of licensing disputes and the greater opportunity in the 5G market.
Qualcomm and Broadcom both are leaders in the mobile market, and both rapidly expanding their portfolios to power the emerging Internet of Things.
Intel has been watching the Qualcomm dealings play out with trepidation, according to The Journal's reports.
A Broadcom acquisition is one of several alternatives Intel is considering if it appears Broadcom will succeed in taking over Qualcomm. Other options to counter the threat include executing several smaller acquisitions to maintain competitive standing.
Broadcom's market capitalization was above $104 billion at the close of trading on the NASDAQ Friday. The stock closed at $253.78, and shot up to a peak of 271.50 after-hours before slightly retreating.
Intel had long been recognized as the world's dominant chip company, but last year Samsung claimed that crown.
Broadcom Limited has operated as a wholly owned subsidiary of Avago Technologies since 2016, when it was acquired for $37 billion.
The fabless semiconductor company manufactures networking ICs for data, voice and video applications in the wireless and broadband communications space, and offers a variety of out-of-the-box platforms for connected devices and the Internet of Things.