Qualcomm has announced that will be acquiring Atheros for $3.1 billion or around $45 a share. Everybody is familiar with Qualcomm and its successful Snapdragon processor but not such much with Atheros, the bottom line here is that this deal further positions Qualcomm to be a major player in the emerging mobile and tablet markets.
Through its purchase of Atheros, Qualcomm will now acquire wireless LAN, Ethernet, Bluetooth, GPS, passive optical networking and powerline technologies. Most people think that Qualcomm will cannibalize those technologies with the goal of ultimately integrating them directly into or with and its smartphone and tablet chips.
In the end this deal will better position Qualcomm to compete with the likes of Broadcom and Marvell, which should ultimately bring down the price of mobile chips, which in turn would bring down the price of the devices they are in. On a con-call, Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs said noted that Atheros’ technology will help it connect phones with multiple emerging devices such as tablets.
I’m sure the folks over at Intel will be watching this deal closely because it puts Qualcomm right into the middle of a space they are trying to dominate. Bottom line, even though this deal further reduces competition in the emerging mobile space, consumers should ultimately win. Barring any regulatory hurdles, the deal is expected to close in the first half of 2011.