October 5, 2016 - Lam Research Corp. and KLA-Tencor Corp. abandoned their plans to merge after the Department of Justice informed the companies that it had serious concerns that the proposed transaction would harm competition.
"Innovation in the semiconductor industry is critically important to the American economy, and the proposed transaction presented concerns about the ability of the merged firm to foreclose competitors' development of leading edge fabrication tools and process technology on a timely basis,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Renata Hesse of the Justice Department's Antitrust Division.
The proposed merger of Lam Research and KLA-Tencor would have combined a leading supplier of semiconductor fabrication equipment with a leading supplier of metrology and inspection equipment. Metrology and inspection technologies are growing increasingly important to the successful development of semiconductor fabrication equipment and process technology. KLA-Tencor's leading position in several metrology and inspection markets could have created the potential for Lam Research to foreclose its competitors by reducing their timely access to key KLA-Tencor equipment and related services.
During the investigation, the division cooperated with the Korean Fair Trade Commission, the Japanese Fair Trade Commission and China's Ministry of Commerce.
Lam Research, based in Fremont, California, is a leading provider of etch, deposition and clean tools and process technology used in the fabrication of semiconductors with approximately $6 billion in 2015 revenue.
KLA-Tencor, based in Milpitas, California, is the leading provider of semiconductor fabrication metrology and inspection equipment with approximately $3 billion in 2015 revenue.
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