QUALCOMM TO ACQUIRE SNAPTRACK INC. FOR ONE BILLION.
San Diego-based Qualcomm, which has reinvented itself from a mobile
phone business to being a chip and technology supplier to other cell
phone makers, has agreed to acquire Snaptrack, a San Jose, CA company,
which uses the government's global positioning system (GPS) to
determine the position of cell phones, pagers, and other hand-held
devices. Qualcomm indicated that the combination of wireless Internet
access with Snaptrack's technology will generate substantial
electronic commerce utilization. Richard Sulpizio, Qualcomm's
Chief Operating Officer, indicated that the company wanted to be
"the leader in GPS oriented chip sets for mobile wireless".
Among Snaptrack's investors are Motorola, Inc., Texas Instruments,
Inc., and Venture Fund Benchmark Capital. The company has several dozen
patents for "wireless assisted" GPS which enable cell phones
to identify their location in areas which normally encounter
interference such indoors and/or dense urban areas. According to Mr.
Sulpizio, Qualcomm believes that location identification technology for
telephones will be done directly in the telephone itself by chip
technology rather then centrally in the wireless network.
The announcement on January 26, 00, followed by a day a Qualcomm
announcement that it anticipated a reduction in the demand for its
product in the current quarter which resulted in downgrading of its
stock by analysts and a slide in excess of 15% in its share value.
Qualcomm closed on January 26, at $124.625, down $24.375 to $24.375 for