FTC working on KTV merger
The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) yesterday told lawmakers that it would work toward giving its approval for merger plans between the nation’s two largest karaoke parlor (KTV) chains, Holiday Entertainment Co (好樂迪) and Cash Box KTV (錢櫃), as long as the companies safeguard the interests of consumers. The regulator said that it would begin the approval process, such as gathering the opinion of stakeholders and holding public hearings. The two karaoke chains have had numerous failed attempts to merge in the past 16 years. Separately yesterday, the regulator said that it would ask Tesla Inc to explain its erratic pricing decisions, after the US electric vehicle maker reversed price cuts and a decision to shutter dealerships, adding that such behavior might be anti-competitive.
Acer pays Microsoft directly
Acer Inc (宏碁) chairman and CEO Jason Chen (陳俊聖) on Tuesday said that the PC maker’s royalty payments to Microsoft Inc are governed by contracts with the US software giant and are not paid by partner original design manufacturers and electronics manufacturing services providers. Chen’s comments came amid a patent dispute between Microsoft and Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海) that prompted personal rebukes by Hon Hai chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘) earlier that day. Acer pays Microsoft directly to fulfill the conditions of the licensing contracts, Chen said.
FIT launches flagship store
Foxconn Interconnect Technology Ltd (FIT, 鴻騰科技), a Hong Kong-listed affiliate of Hon Hai, yesterday opened its flagship store at Taipei’s Syntrend Creative Park, a shopping complex focused on consumer electronics and tech gadgets. The store showcases new products by FIT’s newly acquired brands, Belkin and Linksys, which Hon Hai in March last year purchased for US$866 million as part of its plans to diversify beyond its core contract manufacturing business and into managing brands for smart home appliances and Internet of Things products for consumers.
PChome Thai gains licenses
PChome Online Inc (網路家庭) on Monday announced that subsidiary PChome Thai has been granted licenses to operate two electronic payment services by Thai regulators. The approvals would allow the company’s customers to make credit and debit card payments, as well as electronic payments and fund transfers, via automated teller machines and mobile phones. PChome Thai said that it is also working on launching before the end of this quarter a payment service that is compatible with popular social media platforms in Thailand, including Instagram and Facebook.
Electronics sector lifts TAIEX
Local shares yesterday closed slightly higher on thin turnover as gains were capped ahead of strong technical resistance at about 10,400 points, dealers said. The bellwether electronics sector remained a driver of the latest upturn as investors took cues from gains posted by tech stocks in the US overnight, while non-high-tech stocks appeared mixed throughout the session, the dealers said. The TAIEX ended up 29.99 points, or 0.29 percent, at 10,373.32, after moving between 10,331.27 and 10,373.32, on turnover of NT$94.36 billion, dropping from turnover of NT$111.14 billion in the previous session.
Intel Corp yesterday said it has placed its first order with ASML Holding NV to purchase the semiconductor industry’s first TWINSCAN EXE: 5200 system, as the US chip giant aims to compete with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) in advancing to 2-nanometer process technology. The Dutch semiconductor equipment maker’s TWINSCAN EXE:5200 system is an extreme ultraviolet (EUV) high-volume production system with a high numerical aperture (NA) that can produce 220 wafers per hour, more than the 150 wafers that its previous generation TWINSCAN EXE:5000 system can handle. ASML aims to launch the new system in 2024. ASML president and chief
MediaTek Inc (聯發科), the world’s biggest 5G chip supplier, saw its ranking rise by one notch to No. 7 last year among world semiconductor vendors, as it benefited from the rapid 5G smartphone uptake in China after Huawei Technologies Co (華為) was forced to exit the market, Gartner Inc said in a report yesterday. MediaTek’s revenue soared 58.8 percent to US$17.45 billion last year from US$10.99 billion in 2020, outpacing the global semiconductor industry’s growth of 25 percent, according to Gartner’s tally. That gave MediaTek a 3 percent market share. The Hsinchu-based chip company ranked No. 8 in 2020, behind Texas Instruments
South Korea’s antitrust watchdog yesterday fined 23 domestic and foreign shippers a combined 96.2 billion won (US$80.84 million) for price-fixing, including three Taiwanese container shippers — Evergreen Marine Corp (長榮海運), Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp (陽明海運) and Wan Hai Lines Ltd (萬海航運) — the Central News Agency and Japan’s Nikkei Asia reported. Korea Marine Transport Co and Sinokor Merchant Marine Co instigated the collusion by raising freight rates for routes between South Korea and Southeast Asia, China and Japan, and they were later joined by other foreign and domestic firms, the Korea Fair Trade Commission said, citing the results of an
Citigroup Inc, which has been shedding some of its retail operations as part of a global revamp, is in advanced talks with Fubon Financial Holding Co (富邦金控) for a sale of its China consumer business, people familiar with the matter said. Taipei-based Fubon has emerged as the likeliest buyer after outbidding rivals, and the two lenders are negotiating the terms of a potential transaction, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. They are aiming to sign an agreement in the next few weeks and the assets could be valued at about US$1.5 billion, the people said. A