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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

Chris Cuomo accuser: On-air "hypocrisy" spurred report

Journalist Chris Cuomo. Photo: Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images

A woman who accused fired CNN journalist Chris Cuomo of sexual misconduct said Sunday she decided to come forward after learning of his comments about women who made similar accusations about his brother. He denies her allegations.

Why it matters: Her attorney Debra Katz said in a statement that she heard "the hypocrisy" of his on-air words about his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and was "disgusted by his efforts to try to discredit these women," so "retained counsel to report his serious sexual misconduct against her to CNN."

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director says number of U.S. Omicron cases "likely to rise" — Two years of COVID-19 — Prior coronavirus infections may not protect well against Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: Data demonstrates most-vaccinated counties less vulnerable to worst of COVID — Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters.
  3. Politics: Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers — New Jersey GOP lawmakers defy statehouse COVID policy — Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate.
  4. World: Vaccine mandates lose steam in the U.S. while Europe doubles downWHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron — COVID cases surge in South Africa in sign Omicron wave is coming.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

Vulnerable Democrats: Less Trump talk

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Vulnerable House Democrats are convinced they need to talk less about the man who helped them get elected: President Trump.

Why it matters: Democrats are privately concerned nationalizing the 2022 mid-terms with emotionally-charged issues — from Critical Race Theory to Donald Trump's role in the Jan. 6 insurrection — will hamstring their ability to sell the local benefits of President Biden's Build Back Better agenda.