The companies are wary of Apple's potential influence over a deal, said the people, who asked not to be named because the discussions are private. They're also worried about Broadcom's reputation of cutting costs rather than investing in new technology, the people said.
Qualcomm rejected a hostile $105 billion bid last month, leading to Broadcom nominating a new slate of board directors for the San Diego-based company earlier this week. Regulators frequently ask for industry input when making a judgment on whether or not to approve a deal. Qualcomm has said it has antitrust concerns about a potential Broadcom takeover.
Qualcomm has told Microsoft, Google and other companies not to make any public statements opposing a deal, said the sources. Qualcomm wants to find out if Broadcom will significantly increase its $70-per-share offer before taking a firmer stance against a possible deal, said the people.
A Broadcom transaction for Qualcomm may improve Apple's relationship with the chipmaker, which currently provides chips used in the iPhone and iPad. Qualcomm is suing Apple for patent infringement after Apple in January sued Qualcomm for roughly $1 billion, claiming Qualcomm charged royalties improperly. Qualcomm has issued and applied more than 130,000 patents covering, among other things, smartphone technology.
The litigation could result in Apple abandoning Qualcomm for future products.
But Broadcom Chief Executive Hock Tan has privately expressed optimism about settling an ongoing litigation with Apple if Broadcom were to acquire Qualcomm, according to a person familiar with the matter.