WD given EU green light to buy Hitachi HDD business

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WD given EU green light to buy Hitachi HDD business

Simon Quicke

HDD hard disk drive Photodisc.jpgWestern Digital has been given the green light by the European Commission to complete its purchase of Hitachi's hard disk drive business.

The $4.3bn deal had been referred to the EU's competition regulator because it tied up the second and third largest HDD players in the market and to get it through WD has agreed to sell off some of its production operations.

The approval is conditional upon the divestment of essential production assets for 3.5-inch hard disk drives, including a production plant, and accompanying measures. Western Digital cannot complete the acquisition until it has found a suitable purchaser that is approved by the Commission.

"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 Commission Vice-President in charge of competition policy Joaquín Almunia.

The acquisition was announced back in March but has taken a while to get through the regulatory hoops and the clearance from the EU comes at a time when the HDD market is in some disarray following the catastrophic floods in Thailand, which have had a major impact on production facilities.

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