EU probes US, Japan hard disk takeover plans

May 30, 2011
A Samsung flag flies in Seoul. European anti-trust regulators on Monday launched in-depth probes into proposed US takeovers of South Korean and Japanese businesses manufacturing computer hard disk drives (HDD).

European anti-trust regulators on Monday launched in-depth probes into proposed US takeovers of South Korean and Japanese businesses manufacturing computer hard disk drives (HDD).

The planned acquisitions of the operations of South Korean electronics giant Samsung by , and the storage business of Japan's Hitachi by Western Digital Corporation in a sector with just five manufacturers worldwide have raised concerns in Brussels, the European Commission said.

"Hard drives are the backbone of the digital economy," said EU competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia in announcing the investigation.

"The sector has already experienced significant consolidation and the proposed acquisitions will further reduce competition."

Used in everything from computers to digital video recorders, Toshiba is the fifth major player.

Brussels officials have until October 10 to decide what action if any they will take.

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User comments : 4

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1 / 5 (2) May 30, 2011
"Take Over plans?"

Perhaps these Asian firms were unduly harmed by the unfortunate Tsunami that struck mainland Japan recently...I can assure everyone on this planet, the US does not have a weapon that could have caused those natural events!
Further, why aren't there any EUROPEAN firms willing to get in the mix and COMPETITIVELY involve themselves in acquiring these businesses? Perhaps there may be a Chinese interest that will step in or a South American consortium, etc,etc... Seagate/West Dig are American but they're not "The US."
If Yellowstone erupted, or those tornados in the US Midwest had damaged key industries, would Europe be so quick to question competitive acquisition in that light? Heck NO!
If Japan/Korea will sell, whoever has money can buy! Business is civilized conflict and competition. Competition is the law of the Jungle in a concrete forest: Eat or be eaten. If these firms are bought, the workers WILL still have jobs. Put yur mony on D table!
word-to-ya-muthas
El_Nose
1 / 5 (1) May 30, 2011
Give me a break withthe conspiracy theories --

If a hardrive manufacturer wishes to be competitive they have to make drives not only for consumers but for those who use the most HD's and thats big business - server farms are a realitly and with hardware RAID configuration allowing hot swaps if you are not positioned to have a quality drive that is competively priced then be prepared to be taken
Decimatus
not rated yet May 31, 2011
Harddisks are going the way of the dinosaurs, hence why those units are being sold off.
ricarguy
1 / 5 (1) May 31, 2011
Harddisks are going the way of the dinosaurs, hence why those units are being sold off.


It seems that way. TB thumb drives are perhaps only a few years away. Flash memory has been on a faster "bang for the buck" curve than hard disk technology.

If that is the conventional wisdom, I just wonder what WD and Seagate might have up their sleeves.