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Drive manufacturers Western Digital and Kioxia are discussing a possible merger, according to a Bloomberg report based on insider sources.

Western Digital and Kioxia already collaborate in the field of flash chips. Insider sources told Bloomberg that the companies are considering a more significant partnership in the form of a merger.

According to the sources, Western Digital may divest its current flash memory division and merge it with Toshiba spin-off Kioxia. The new company would be listed in both the United States and Japan, led by Western Digital’s current management.

Flash memory chips

The resulting firm would be the second-largest supplier of flash memory chips and a significant competitor to Samsung, which currently holds the title of market leader.

Flash memory chips provide storage for many devices, from smartphones to desktops. Neither company has commented on the rumours at the time of writing.

Bloomberg reports that Western Digital has been urged by activist shareholder Elliott Management to explore “strategic alternatives” since June of last year.

Tip: ‘WD in talks with Kioxia about a possible $20-billion merger’