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Taiwan Memory Co: madness or monumental?

01 April 2009 | By Mark Osborne | Editor's Blog

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Words uttered by someone in the Taiwan Government to someone asking a question on the ‘sidelines’ of some event not related to the subject at all has sparked a flurry of stories suggesting that Elpida has been selected to partner with the beleaguered DRAM industry on the island.

That same someone then said that they hoped that Micron would also be involved!

Some of the news stories may just mention the Elpida reference as this keeps things simple and makes things easy to report on. Simple, because it can be written as a run-off battle with a winner and a loser, and that's that.

Micron, as far as I can tell, played a smart card ages ago with the partnership and share holding in Nanya and Inotera, respectively. Nanya’s ancestry is well known to many and I doubt a deal can be done that puts them in a weak position compared to PSC in any new company formation.

If the news is true and Elpida has won the prize on its own, then I don’t see yet how all the Taiwan DRAM companies will join the new entity. My commentary here initially pointed to a duopoly, though that would lack scale to close in on Hynix. It would seem then as now to be a constructive stepping stone to potentially further consolidation, but not necessarily with any further consolidation of Taiwan companies.

I am not sure the current saga has been handled all that well by the Taiwanese Government, and comments by PSC executives (if they are to be believed) point to little interest in a full merger of all Taiwan DRAM players. The threats from that side that they would go elsewhere (assuming Elpida goes with them), would mean things have come full circle and a duopoly by default would be created.

A real merger of all the Taiwan producers with partnerships that included both Elpida and Micron would indeed be monumental but also highly impractical and bordering on madness. With that said, you have to be mad to be in the DRAM business in the first place!

Related articles

Elpida consolidates Rexchip Electronics - 16 March 2009

Taiwan‚??s memory merry-go-round - 23 July 2009

Taiwan Memory Co formation delayed - 30 March 2009

Elpida becomes official technology partner of Taiwan Memory Co - 02 April 2009

Taiwan government to establish new DRAM company - 05 March 2009

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