Micron will become the second-largest maker of memory chips worldwide, second only to Samsung, as it is set to buy Elpida Memory, a big supplier to Apple.
The Boise, Idaho-based chipmaker will purchase the bankrupt Elpida for US$2.5 billion, instantly doubling its share of the memory chip market to about 24 per cent. Market leader Samsung has about a 42 per cent share.
Elpida was formed in 1999, when NEC and Hitachi merged their memory chip businesses. But the price volatility of the memory market forced it to file for bankruptcy in February with US$5.6 billion of debt, despite having become the world's third-largest maker of memory chips.
The Japanese company has a strong presence in the mobile DRAM market, and has been a major supplier of memory to Apple — it was a leading DRAM supplier for the third-generation iPad and iPhone 4S.
"We suspect Apple may have influenced Micron's bidding in an effort to avoid disruption to their mobile DRAM supply," Glen Yeung, an analyst at Citigroup, wrote in a research note in May.