Qualcomm to buy Atheros for $3.1 billion

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Qualcomm Inc. and Atheros Communications Inc. on Wednesday, Jan. 5, announced they have entered into a definitive agreement whereby Qualcomm will acquire Atheros, a provider of technologies for wireless and wired local area connectivity in the computing, networking and consumer electronics industries. Qualcomm says the $3.1 billion acquisition is intended to help accelerate the expansion of its technologies and platforms to new businesses beyond cellular and provide access to significant new growth opportunities. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2011.

“It is Qualcomm’s strategy to continually integrate additional technologies into mobile devices to make them the primary way that people communicate, compute and access content,” says Dr. Paul Jacobs, chairman and chief executive officer of Qualcomm. “This acquisition is a natural extension of that strategy into other types of devices. The combination of Qualcomm and Atheros is intended to accelerate this opportunity by utilizing best-in-class products for communications, computing and consumer electronics to broaden existing customer relationships and expand access to new partners and distribution channels.”

Atheros’ current president and CEO, Dr. Craig Barratt, is expected to join Qualcomm as president of Qualcomm Networking & Connectivity. “Qualcomm and Atheros have a long history of collaboration and share a culture of technical innovation and execution excellence,” Barratt says. “The Atheros team will build upon Qualcomm’s strengths and leadership to bolster our customers’ ability to deliver innovative and differentiated products in the increasingly connected world.”