This month Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. decided to sell its legendary Verbatim business unit to CMC Magnetics. Verbatim is primarily known for its recordable optical media, but the company also sells USB flash drives, DAS devices, accessories, and so on.

Under the terms of the agreement, CMC will pay Mitsubishi Chemical $32 million in cash for Verbatim-related assets, including patents, technologies, sales network, and other. Being one of the pioneers of blank floppy disk and optical media, Verbatim owns a large portfolio of IP for discs, including production methods, various coatings, and other technologies. Meanwhile, Mitsubishi Chemical has used the brand to market USB flash drives, SSDs, DAS devices, power banks, various accessories, and even 3D printing filaments. It is unclear whether CMC is also set to get these businesses and whether it intends to keep them running.

CMC has manufactured Verbatim-branded optical media for a while now using Verbatim’s technologies, so change of ownership is not expected to result in change of quality. Meanwhile, since the whole Verbatim supply chain will now belong to CMC, it is possible to expect the media to get slightly cheaper. Furthermore, with IP from Verbatim, CMC will be able to improve its own-brand products without paying for a license.

The acquisition of Verbatim’s assets by CMC is a yet another sign of consolidation of the optical media market as sales of both blank media and discs with movies shrink. Mitsubishi Chemical no longer sees new opportunities with CD/DVD/Blu-ray media, which is why it is selling not only the brand, but all of the related assets. Mitsubishi is not the only company to exit optical disc media in the recent years. Such legendary names as Taiyo Yuden, TDK, Maxell, Fujifilm, BASF, and other decided to withdraw from this business in the last ~10 years. While some of the aforementioned brands still exist on the market, they are not produced by the original owners.

CMC is one of the world’s largest producers of optical media with operations in China, Taiwan, Thailand, and the US. The discs the company produces are then sold under other brands (HP, Verbatim, etc.) or are used by high-volume commercial customers like movie studios for replication purposes. Besides, the company offers custom packaging services for optical media, something also used primarily by large studios nowadays.

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Source: Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Group

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  • JKJK - Friday, June 28, 2019 - link

    Ah. Back in the day when being an optical-nerd was a thing and Taiyo Yuden verbatims (both cd and dvd) was the best you could ever get!
    There where dedicated webshops selling high end cd/dvd recordable media and Taiyo Yuden was always the highest rated and most expensive).
    I still having some unused 8x Taiyo Yuden verbatim DVD+R (or was it DVD-R, I don't remember)'s lying around somewhere I think.
    I still use and buy verbatim optical if I need it.
    Reply
  • sheh - Saturday, June 29, 2019 - link

    Never had a TY Verbatim DVD, only MCC. Reply
  • Samus - Monday, July 1, 2019 - link

    Taiyo Yuden was the popular choice at computer shows back in the 90's and they never did me wrong. Wide compatibility with game consoles of the era and pre-CD-R compliant car audio decks was icing on the cake. Reply
  • rarson - Monday, July 1, 2019 - link

    CMC sells what is supposedly Taiyo Yuden discs now, as they bought the technology from TY. From what I've heard, they did move manufacturing from Taiwan to China, but still utilize the same technology and quality. I just bought a spindle of 100 CD-Rs, they seem to be working great in my 3DO so far. Reply
  • npz - Monday, July 1, 2019 - link

    Hopefully they are better now. Back in the day, I've had media with media ids from CMC and they were always inferior to the Taiyo Yudens and true Verbatim MCC media ids. By this I mean the actual block level surface scans of correctable errors. Reply
  • StrangerGuy - Friday, June 28, 2019 - link

    I only use DVDs these days solely for working with weird VMware implementations where the USB passthrough doesn't work at all but DVD drive does. Reply
  • asmian - Saturday, June 29, 2019 - link

    Don't forget QuickPar to add essential redundancy/error-checking to your backup DVD-Rs, at the cost of a little capacity. It's not just for Usenet... Reply
  • sheh - Saturday, June 29, 2019 - link

    It might degrade gradually, but I've never had good quality optical media become unreadable. The oldest CD-Rs I have are 20+ years. It might also depend on storage and environmental conditions, and on writer/write quality. Also the reader is part of the equation; some drives aren't as good. In particular I suspect laptop drives. Reply
  • sheh - Saturday, June 29, 2019 - link

    This was a reply to nagi603.

    AnandTech: Replying without Javascript doesn't honor the parent hierarchy. It's been a problem for years...
    Reply
  • PeachNCream - Sunday, June 30, 2019 - link

    I wish they'd fix that because I usually disable Javascript for performance and safety reasons. Anandtech is a hideously slow site on mobile with Javascript turned on. I suppose they could learn how to build a proper website and that could also address some of the problem (not the ads though - Anandtech without an adblocker is one of the worst sites I see on a regular basis). Reply

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