Micron aims to become 'Macron'?

— 11:16 AM on January 2, 2002

Billb sends word that Micron hasn't been relaxing idly this holiday season. It seems the memory manufacturer has it's eyes set on merging with Hynix, and has already taken steps to purchase Toshiba's fabs as the Japanese giant exits the DRAM market.

Micron managed to obtain Toshiba's US memory fab, which builds PC RAM. Toshiba will not be giving up its contract with Sony to provide RDRAM for the PSX2, nor will it be giving up its flash memory or EDRAM. This fits perfectly for both businesses. Micron wants more control of the PC memory market, and Toshiba wanted to keep their flash memory and EDRAM businesses.

The Micron and Hynix deal will not prove so cut and dry. While a full merger would give Micron around forty percent of the world memory market share—rivaling that of Samsung—it could also manage to saddle the company with over six billion dollars in debt and give it fabs outside of the US. The merger could also help stablize of the memory market, meaning a possible end to DRAM being sold below cost.

The above provisions shouldn't be a good fit for Micron, so the negotiations are likely to end with a different kind of outcome. Perhaps Micron will only purchase Hynix's US fabs and, in exchange, help bail the Korean company out of some if it's enormous debt. There are a variety of possibilities. It does seem that Micron has reached a steadfast determination to consume as much of the memory market as they can obtain. It's rather ambitious, and I must say I like such tenacity.

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