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Tokyo, NFAPost: SK hynix, South Korea’s second-largest chipmaker, received formal approval from Europe’s antitrust watchdog for its acquisition of Intel’s NAND business.

The move of SK Hynx continues with its aims to enhance the competitiveness of its NAND flash solutions as one of the leading global semiconductor companies and grow the memory ecosystem to the benefit of customers, partners, employees and shareholders.

Last October Seoul based SK hynix had signed the contract to pay $9 billion for the Intel NAND memory and storage business, which includes the NAND SSD business, the NAND component and wafer business, and the Dalian NAND memory manufacturing facility in China. However, Intel will retain its Intel® Optane™ business and intends to invest transaction proceeds in long-term growth priorities.

SK Hynix had received unconditional clearance from the European Commission for its takeover of Intel’s non-volatile memory unit. Following the deal, the South Korean firm had to obtain approval from antitrust regulators in major countries.

At the same time, SK Hynix said antitrust reviews from six countries, including South Korea, China and Britain, are currently in process. The company plans to obtain approval from those countries by the end of this year.

SK Hynix was the world’s fourth-largest NAND flash producer with a market share of 11.6% in the fourth quarter of 2020. In the US, the company’s acquisition deal received approval from the Federal Trade Commission last year and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US in March. Hynix aimed to more than triple its flash-memory revenue over five years through the acquisition, CEO Lee Seok-hee said in November.

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd led with a Nand market share of 32.9%. Hynix featured next with an 11.6% share. Intel trailed with an 8.6% share. The acquisition of Intel’s NAND business is projected to make SK Hynix the world’s second-largest NAND flash vendor behind Samsung Electronics.

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