Western Digital hard-disk drive takeover approved, with conditions

EU authorities rule that Western Digital has to sell a production plant to take over Hitachi's hard-disk drive business

Western Digital will be allowed to take over Hitachi's hard-disk drive business, but only if it sells off a 3.5-inch hard-disk drive production plant.

The ruling was made by the European Commission on Wednesday. Following an investigation, the Commission decided that the merged entity would only face competition from the recently merged Seagate-Samsung. It was feared this lack of competition would force up prices to consumers, hence the ruling that some of Western Digital's production assets be sold off.

"Hard-disk drives are a key component of computers and other sophisticated electronic devices as they are used to store a growing bulk of data in the digital economy. The proposed divestiture will ensure that competition in the industry is fully restored before the merger is implemented," said Competition Commissioner Joaquín Almunia.

However, had Western Digital notified the Commission just one day earlier of its planned takeover of Hitachi's hard-disk drive business, recently renamed Viviti Technologies, it is unlikely to have had to make any concessions. The Commission was notified of the Seagate- Samsung merger one day earlier, on April 19, and approved. But on a "first come, first served" basis the Western Digital takeover had to be assessed in light of that decision.

After the Seagate-Samsung merger, there remained just four active hard-disk drive suppliers worldwide: Western Digital, Hitachi, the merged Seagate-Samsung and Toshiba. The proposed Western Digital-Hitachi transaction would have reduced the number of competitors to three and in some markets to just two.

Western Digital cannot complete the acquisition of Viviti until it has found a suitable purchaser, approved by the Commission, for its 3.5-inch hard-disk drive production assets.

Hard-disk drives store and allow access to data. They are used in desktop computers and laptops, consumer electronics devices such as DVR players, as well as servers and data centers run by companies.

Follow Jennifer on Twitter at @BrusselsGeek or email tips and comments to jennifer_baker@idg.com.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags governmentregulationMergers and acquisitionsbusiness issueswestern digitalhitachiComponents

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jennifer Baker

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?