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EC: No financial aid for Qimonda

Posted: 05 Feb 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:EC financial aid? Qimonda insolvency? DRAM?

European Commission Industry Commissioner Guenter Verheugen has declined to spend EU money to rescue insolvent DRAM manufacturer Qimonda AG. At the same time, he attacked parent company #LINKKEYWORD1# Technologies AG for its reluctant position in this affair.

In an interview with Dresden-based newspaper Saechsische Zeitung, Verheugen blamed in the first place Infineon for the development that led to the insolvency. During the bailout negotiations for the ailing DRAM vendor, Infineon initially had refused to engage with the sum the Saxon government had asked for. Infineon owns about 77 percent of Qimonda's shares. "No one can rescue a company that even its owner does not want to save," Verheugen said in the interview.

The Industry Commissioner, holding one of the most powerful positions in the EC hierarchy, conceded he is "concerned" over the possible consequences of Qimonda's insolvency for the Dresden semiconductor location. "But when an enterprise stops believing in a location, the dice have fallen in a market-oriented economy," he said.

Verheugen also admitted that Europe's semiconductor sector has a competition problem, and that this problem already has arisen years ago. However, this problem is not a consequence of unfair trade conditions, he said, but of Europe's technological capacities. "I think, Europe has to take a decision," he said. "Either Europe intends to be among the top players. In this case we need a completely new approach that has to be supported equally by politics and economy. Or this sector will disappear from Europe."

He added that the EC had been approached by the Saxon government in order to fund a short-term rescue for Qimonda. But he declined the request. "Generally, EU subsidies must not be used to rescue any enterprise," he said.

- Christoph Hammerschmidt
EE Times

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