Qualcomm gazes at its navel while stroking the surgeon's saw

We don’t comment on rumours, sniffs Snapdragon daddy

Qualcomm is pondering a breakup as it embarks on a major corporate soul-searching exercise prompted by activist investors, according to reports.

The firm may announce the strategic review when it reports fiscal third-quarter results on Wednesday, sources told The Wall Street Journal.

It follows reports in April that activist investor Jana Partners, which owns a $2bn (£1.4bn) stake in the biz, called on Qualcomm to spin off its chip unit from its patent-licensing operation.

Currently, the lion's share of Qualcomm's $26bn (£16.6bn) revenue is derived from its chip operation, while the licensing biz is the more profitable outfit.

Other options reportedly on the table include reshuffling its board and giving Jana a say in adding independent directors, as well as returning more cash to shareholders.

However, sources told the paper that the company’s plans are in flux and there is no guarantee they'll be formally announced.

A spokesman told El Reg: "Qualcomm doesn’t comment on rumours, so we don’t have anything to add."

Last week the European Commission opened two antitrust investigations into possible abusive behaviour by Qualcomm, including allegations of "predatory pricing". The company said any concerns the commission has "are without merit".

In February last year Qualcomm coughed up $1bn (£640m) to Chinese authorities over allegations it had abused its dominant position in the smartphone market. ®

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