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Applied Materials Strengthens Dominance With Varian Deal

The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The Applied Materials (AMAT - Get Report) acquisition of Varian Semiconductor (VSEA)strengthens its dominance of the semiconductor equipment market.

According to a recent report published by The Information Network, Applied Materials was ranked number one in the semiconductor wafer front-end equipment industry and Varian Semiconductor was ranked number eight.

The acquisition of Varian Semiconductor will solidify Applied's lead. At the same time, it will enable Applied to re-enter the Ion Implantation business, a market it withdrew from in 2008.

As the chart below shows, most interesting for 2010 is the fact that the growth of the top 10 wafer front-end equipment manufacturers increased a full 20% -- greater than the combined total of all the other equipment suppliers.

While the top 10 equipment companies generated 42% of total wafer front-end equipment sales in 2009, their share grew to 45% in 2010.

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