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UK regulator waves through SK Hynix's $9bn acquisition of Intel's NAND and SSD biz

Number of 'strong remaining competitors' within the market planning expansions of their own, says CMA

The UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has given the thumbs-up to SK Hynix's agreed $9bn purchase of Intel's NAND and SSD businesses, ruling that the buyout would have no negative impact on local purchasers.

In April, the non-ministerial government department decided to take a further look at the details of the $9bn deal between the South Korean semiconductor biz and Chipzilla that had been agreed last October.

Using its own CMA lingo, the regulator said it wanted to know if the result of the agreement would lead to a "substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the United Kingdom for goods or services."

In particular, it was concerned about the possible overlap in the supply of NAND flash memory and solid-state drives.

But after carrying out an investigation, it found that these concerns did not stack up.

The CMA found that in the event of the hook-up going ahead, there would still be "strong remaining competitors" in the market who told the inquiry that they have their own plans to "expand their capacity."

At the end of the 31-page ruling, Eleni Gouliou, director of mergers at the CMA, signed off saying: "The CMA does not believe that it is – or may be the case – that the Merger may be expected to result in an SLC [significant lessening of competition] within a market or markets in the United Kingdom."

You can read the full report and the CMA's decision here [PDF]. ®

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