Why it matters: After a failed hostile takeover of Qualcomm, Broadcom is rumored to be in advanced talks to acquire cybersecurity giant Symantec. The company sees software as a more profitable arena to expand into.
According to a report by Bloomberg, Broadcom is now in "advanced talks" to buy Symantec Corporation, the parent company of the popular Norton antivirus software. This move is to help Broadcom diversify its business ventures and get into software. However, as of this writing, a deal hasn't been finalized and plans could change.
Symantec is one of the world's largest cybersecurity companies but has seen the growth of competition in recent years. The company has also seen a rash of high level departures including CEO Greg Clark who resigned last year. Symantec is also under investigation by the SEC following an internal audit review of accounting concerns raised by a former employee.
Broadcom's chips are in virtually every electronic gadget we own, a point that has led to an antitrust investigation by the European Commission and a separate investigation by the United States Federal Trade Commission. While the investigations are unlikely to affect the acquisition of Symantec, it could put a damper on an otherwise benign transaction.
Reuters notes that Broadcom isn't the only chip manufacturer to purchase a cybersecurity company. Intel initially bought McAfee in 2011 but sold a majority stake of the company to the TPG investment firm after it failed to grow the business. After its $18.9 billion acquisition of CA Technologies, Broadcom is hoping to continue its foray into software where it sees growth potential.
Most of our readers will remember Broadcom's hostile takeover attempt of Qualcomm last year with the bid being blocked by President Trump. The Trump Administration cited "credible evidence" that the deal would threaten national security. Since Qualcomm and Broadcom are rivals, it might've also presented a challenge to competition.
Symantec's stocks rose by 16% after the news broke while Broadcom's shares slipped about 3.5%. However, neither Symantec nor Broadcom representatives have commented on the news of the acquisition.