Micron Technology has become a contender in the global flash memory business after completing its US$850 million purchase of Lexar Media, the company said Wednesday.With the acquisition, "Micron [now] offers a complete package of NAND memory solutions for our customers," including NAND flash memory designs, technology, manufacturing, products and distribution channels, Micron said in a Wednesday statement. No cash changed hands in the deal, which was an all-stock transaction.The deal thrusts Micron, one of the world\u2019s largest dynamic RAM (DRAM) chip makers, into the middle of the NAND flash memory business, the fastest-growing segment of the chip industry. It means Micron is now involved in every aspect of the NAND business, from producing the chips to selling them to users.Last year, Micron joined Intel to develop a joint-venture NAND flash manufacturing company, dubbed IM Flash Technologies. The Lexar deal extends Micron\u2019s reach all the way to users through Lexar\u2019s lineup of NAND flash products, including MP3 players, USB flash drives, memory cards and card readers. It also provides Micron with fundamental patents covering the NAND flash memory business, important in an industry where companies routinely slap lawsuits on each other over patent infringement.Lexar has been battling Toshiba in court for the past few years in a patent case. The company is seeking to bar the import and sale of some Toshiba NAND flash memory chips into the United States, which could seriously hobble the Japanese company\u2019s business. Last year, Lexar won a $465 million court ruling over Toshiba. Toshiba has appealed the verdict.Lexar shareholders last week approved the Micron agreement. The memory chip maker agreed to trade 0.5925 of a share of Micron stock for each Lexar share the deal. Lexar common stock stopped trading on the Nasdaq market at the close of business Wednesday.-Dan Nystedt, IDG News Service (Taipei Bureau)Check out our CIO News Alerts and Tech Informer pages for more updated news coverage.