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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Broadcom's deal to buy Qualcomm is dead, but its demise leaves both companies facing an uncertain future.

The bottom line: Qualcomm's management, already under pressure from both shareholders and antitrust regulators, now has to prove it really is worth more than Broadcom was willing to pay. As for Broadcom, it's now likely a question of eat or be eaten.

For Qualcomm: It's got plenty on its plate, including a pending tender offer to buy NXP Semiconductors as well as a bitter legal fight with Apple, all while trying to make sure its licensing and chip businesses don't miss a beat as the industry moves from one generation to another, going from 4G to 5G technology.

For Broadcom: It's already gotten quite large through acquisition, but may need even more heft to go it alone. Intel was reportedly at least somewhat interested in Broadcom when the Qualcomm deal was on the table. The question is whether Intel will remain interested if there aren't any prospects of a Qualcomm-Broadcom combination. And, even if it is, would regulators be OK with that combination.

And, importantly, does Broadcom go ahead with plans to move its official headquarters to the U.S., or does it reverse course?

China concerns: The deal may ease some concerns, but doesn't make Huawei less of a threat. It's still the case that, although Qualcomm is influential in 5G standards, no U.S. company makes the gear that power such networks. Huawei's main rivals are two European companies, Nokia and Ericsson, along with (to a lesser degree) China's ZTE and Korea's Samsung.

But, but but: For all the talk about how a Qualcomm-Broadcom deal could help China, antitrust authorities there might have blocked it due to widespread disapproval from Chinese phone makers, says wireless industry consultant Chetan Sharma.

Go deeper

Updated 46 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: Trump, Melania received COVID vaccine at White House in January — CDC director warns "now is not the time" to lift COVID restrictions.
  2. Vaccine: J&J CEO "absolutely" confident in vaccine distribution goals Most states aren't prioritizing prisons for COVID vaccines — Vaccine hesitancy is shrinking.
  3. Economy: Apple says all U.S. stores open for the first time since start of pandemic — What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.
  5. World: Italy tightens restrictions as experts warn of growing prevalence of variants — PA announces new COVID restrictions as cases surge.
  6. Local: Colorado sets timeline for return to normalcy.
Updated 49 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump received COVID vaccine at White House in January

Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images

Former President Trump and former first lady Melania Trump were both vaccinated at the White House in January, a Trump adviser tells Axios.

Why it matters: Trump declared at CPAC on Sunday that "everybody" should get the coronavirus vaccine — the first time he's encouraged his supporters, who have been more skeptical of getting vaccinated, to do so.

Biden administration seeks to allow separated migrant families to reunite in U.S.

Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas announced Monday that the Biden administration will explore "lawful pathways" to allow migrant families separated under the Trump administration to reunite in the U.S.

Why it matters: Biden has pledged to reunite the hundreds of families still separated as a result of the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy, and signed an executive order last month creating a family separation task force chaired by Mayorkas.