Western Digital, Kioxia eye chips mega-merger

Samsung Electronics could have a big new rival.

Western Digital of the U.S. and Japan's Kioxia are in talks over a merger.

That's according to a Reuters source, who says a deal could be done as early as mid-September.

A merger would bring together the second- and third-largest memory chip makers.

Together they would match Samsung, which currently has over a third of the market.

Kioxia was sold by Toshiba in 2018, though the Japanese conglomerate still owns a stake of just over 40%.

Last year the chipmaker shelved plans for what would have been Japan's biggest IPO of 2020.

But now the Reuters source says a public offering remains an option, should the merger talks fail.

Chipmakers have been enjoying robust demand, partly as work-from-home consumers snap up new gadgets.

The industry has also been rationalising.

Last year South Korea's SK Hynix agreed to buy Intel's memory chip business for $9 billion, but the deal still awaits approval from antitrust watchdogs.

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