(AMZN) and Alphabet Inc.'s Google (GOOGL) have entered the fray to bid for Toshiba Corp.'s (TOSBF) NAND flash memory unit, Japanese daily Yomiuri Shimbun reported. Apple, on the other hand, would be able to use the memory chips, which it's now buying from Toshiba and Samsung, in its smartphones. According to a separate report from Nikkei, however, US equity form Silver Lake and chipmaker Broadcom offered 2 trillion yen, or $18 billion, for the business.
According to a report from the Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun, Google, Amazon, and Apple have chose to join the bidding war.
Toshiba has reportedly finished the first round of bidding.
The Japan News suggests that Toshiba hopes to sell the spun-off memory chip business for at least 1.5 trillion Yen, which equates to more than $17.6 billion.
Toshiba is expected to negotiate with individual candidates this month.
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The move by US giants comes shortly after the shareholders of Toshiba approved a proposal to split off and sell its NAND flash memory business.
Local media said any foreign buyer would need to pass a Japanese government review, given concerns about security around systems already using Toshiba's memory chips. Toshiba is in fact thought to be leaning towards USA companies, not only because of security but because going in that direction could ease dealings with the US government over Westinghouse.
The huge conglomerate announced Wednesday that its troubled United States nuclear (Other OTC: UCLE - news) power unit Westinghouse Electric had filed for bankruptcy protection. That is on the high end of estimates of the memory business' value.
Putting US taxpayers on the hook for any losses related to Westinghouse's failure would be an embarrassment for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, particularly if the debacle sparks criticism from American President Donald Trump of Japanese corporations in the US.