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Broadcom achieves Bluetooth edge through acquisition

Posted: 22 Apr 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:communication? broadcom? bluetooth? widcomm? software?

Communication chipmaker Broadcom will add software capabilities to its Bluetooth product line with the announcement Monday (April 18, 2004) that it has acquired San Diego-based Widcomm.

Founded in 1998, Widcomm is a veteran software player in the Bluetooth sector of the wireless industry. The company is best known for its Bluetooth protocol stacks, which have been licensed by a number of chip manufacturers and system houses. The company has also developed software profiles, which are Bluetooth-complaint software packages that allow Bluetooth-enabled devices to communicate. Widcomm's software is targeted at embedded and Windows-based environments.

In Widcomm, Broadcom gains access to strong customer base that includes top-tier customers like Dell, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Logitech, Panasonic, Samsung, and Sony. Broadcom also reels in a software package it is very familiar with. In October 2003, Broadcom, like many other chip vendors, formed a partnership with Widcomm. Under the agreement, Broadcom agreed to supply Widcomm's software with its Blutonium family of products.

Through the agreement, Broadcom agreed to pay approximately $49 million in stock for Widcomm. However, up to $3 million of the transaction may be paid in cash. The merger is expected to close by the end of June. The boards of directors of both companies have approved the purchase.

- Robert Keenan

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