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The Cleaner

Jana Partners' Breakup Can't Save Qualcomm

No secret that Jana Partners is pushing Qualcomm to break itself up. Not to mention buying back more stock. Yet, there are headwinds in the breakup talk. Its chip business is seeing serious competition from Samsung, which is using its own chips. The cheaper chip business is no better with competition from major Asia.

But there's the high margin licensing business, no? Even still, it's facing regulatory headwinds. It really needs the two businesses, two ways to profit from its large R&D spend. A chip maker without a high margin cash business can't afford to invest in R&D.

With all this, this isn't the first time Qualcomm has considered a split. The best the company can do at this point is settle with authorities and try to recapture some of the market from Samsung, where the largest player has serious cost advantages.