Qualcomm snaps up self-driving software provider to poach business from Nvidia

Chipmaker Qualcomm took its boldest step yet in the race to develop self-driving technology, swooping in to snag a prized asset out from under the nose of a major auto parts supplier.

Qualcomm and New York–based private equity firm SSW Partners agreed to acquire Veoneer in a deal that values the Swedish componentry manufacturer’s shares at $4.5 billion in total, an 18% premium over the July offer from rival North American bidder Magna.

Best known for its dominance in smartphone chips, Qualcomm aims to carve out the prime piece for itself: Veoneer’s self-driving software development unit, Arriver, as part of a plan to best rivals like Nvidia. The leftovers will go to SSW Partners, which intends to sell off the remaining assets over time to competitors.