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US: Apple, Amazon to Join Foxconn’s Toshiba Bid

 |  June 5, 2017

Apple and Amazon will pony up to pay a portion of contract manufacturer Foxconn’s bid to acquire Toshiba’s semiconductor business as the consumer electronics powerhouses move to secure a steady supply of NAND flash memory, Foxconn’s cheif executive told the Nikkei news service.

Apple and Amazon’s names have surfaced before in connection with a possible bid to buy the chip unit, which Toshiba is selling to help offset massive losses incurred by its nuclear power business in the U.S. In March, Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun reported that Apple, Google and Amazon all three their hats in the ring as potential suitors.

Apple and Amazon are dependent on NAND flash memory for their consumer electronics offerings, including iPhone, iPad and the Alexa-powered Amazon Echo. Many of these products are built by Foxconn. Last week, market research firm DRAMeXchange reported that contract prices for NAND rose 20 to 25 percent in the first quarter, stabilizing the price of NAND in what is traditionally a slower time of year for memory chip sales.

Foxconn reportedly bid more than $27 billion, more than any other bidder is thought to have offered, to acquire the semiconductor business of Toshiba, which is second in NAND sales worldwide behind Samsung. However, Foxconn, which is based in Taiwan and has a large number of manufacturing facilities in China, is considered a longshot to land the asset because the Japanese government is wary of giving China access to Toshiba’s NAND technology.

Speculation has been that the participation of Apple and Amazon could give weight and credibility to the Foxconn bid, perhaps enough to soften concerns about China.

Full Content: Financial Times

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