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Tokyo Electron shares plunged almost 15 percent Tuesday morning as the Japanese semiconductor equipment maker and rival Applied Materials scrapped a multi-billion-dollar merger after US competition regulators blocked it. The California-based firm said it had called off its nearly $10 billion bid for Tokyo Electron, first announced in 2013, after proposed tweaks to the deal had failed to convince antitrust officials at the Department of Justice. People expected the merger to create a market leader,” Mitsushige Akino, executive officer at Ichiyoshi Asset Management, told Bloomberg News. “Now Tokyo Electron has to find a way to go it alone.