Motorola May Sell Its Semiconductor Business To French/Italian Firm

In case speculation about whether or not Apple will be adopting IBMis new PowerPC 970 for the Mac product line wasnit interesting enough, Observer Sanjay Samani tipped us off to a news report out of Europe that Motorola may be selling its semiconductor business. The report comes to us from the Financial Times (FT), who is reporting that STMicroelectronics, the worldis 3rd largest semiconductor firm, is reportedly in talks to buy Appleis chip makeris semiconductor division. From that story:

STMicroelectronics, Europeis largest semiconductor company, is in talks to buy Motorolais semiconductor operations in a deal that would create the worldis second largest chip manufacturer after Intel of the US.

A deal would represent the most dramatic consolidation in the semiconductor industry to date and one of the biggest foreign acquisitions of a US technology company.

ST, part owned by the French and Italian governments, on Tuesday denied it had held merger conversations with Motorola or any other competitor. But senior French and Italian officials said the two companies were discussing a deal that would create a chip business with annual sales of more than $11bn (€11.1bn).

One said a deal could come as early as next year if the talks, backed by both the French and Italian governments, succeeded.

There is additional information in the full article at FT.comis Web site.