After decades of dictating to its distributors what competing semiconductor lines they could carry, Motorola Inc.'s Semiconductor Products Sector (SPS) told EBN today that it has scrapped its "shelf-sharing" policy
"We are going to abolish the North American linecard policy as we had it, restricting the number of Asian lines our distributors may carry," said Hans Wildenberg, director of sales for SPS. "We will open that up-there are no more restrictions," he said.
After decades of refusing to share its distributors' shelves with Asian IC competitors, Motorola amended that policy nearly two years ago, allowing its North American distributors to carry a single Asian line. At that time, Motorola said it was yielding to customer pressure for more sourcing options though its five main distributors, including Avnet, Arrow, Future, Wyle and Newark.
Wildenberg said that the latest policy shift applies only to Motorola's SPS, not the Semiconductor Components Group, which is currently being acquired by a Texas-based investment group.
"We are not speaking for SCG, but for the SPS as we move forward, " Wildenberg said. "We have informed our distributors that we will drop the restrictions on the Asian line."
The announcement comes only days after longtime Motorola distributor Avnet announced it would acquire leading Japanese IC distributor Marshall Industries.
For years, Marshall had been denied access to Motorola and other leading U.S. chip companies that refused to share shelf with their Japanese counterparts.
Wildenberg said Motorola's decision is not related to the Avnet acquisition and indeed, Motorola has been rumored to be contemplating such a policy shift for some time.
"This is not related to the fact that Avnet has acquired Marshall, " he said. "We have been working on this quite awhile, more than a month ago we had this idea pretty well firmed up. The Marshall thing is not attached or in any way related: that was an Avnet decision."