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Western Digital to snap up Hitachi GST for $4.3 billion

updated 08:15 am EST, Mon March 7, 2011

WD buys Hitachi storage division

Western Digital said on Monday that it was buying Hitachi Global Storage Technologies for the equivalent of $4.3 billion. The move includes a combination of $3.5 billion in cash as well as shares worth about $750 million. The deal will see the WD name remain but see Hitachi GST's CEO Steve Milligan join WD as president.

John Coyne, Western Digital CEO, argued that the move was chiefly for scale. The two would form a larger competitor and would have the advantage of better research and a wider range of products. Hitachi has focused on fields such as drives for set-top boxes as well as a greater focus on mobile hard drives.

The play is an attempt to hedge Western Digital's position and compete against an increasingly tougher market. Hitachi has had reduced influence, while Western Digital has been in a long-running battle with its fellow American rival Seagate. Absorbing Hitachi would give the combined company greater clout.

By Electronista Staff


  1. godrifle

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2006


    There goes...

    ...quality right out the window.

  1. burger

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Sep 2000



    This bites.

  1. jwdsail

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2000



    'nuf said

  1. dagamer34

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2007


    Beginning of the end

    HDD manufacturers are consolidating as the SSD market starts to flourish. First it was Maxtor bought by Seagate, and now we've got WD buying Hitachi GST. Won't be much left in the future.

  1. legacyb4

    Mac Elite

    Joined: May 2001



    More like:

    Seagate (Maxtor-Miniscribe, Quantum-DEC, Connor)

    Western Digital (Hitachi-IBM, Tandon)



  1. blueskymactech

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2010


    Oh gawd...

    This is sad news. I replace hard drives in older computers quite a bit. The box of dead HDDs I take to recycling always contains mostly old Maxtor and Western Digital. Hardly ever a Seagate or Hitachi.

    When a customer brings be a computer with a dead hard drive, I can usually assume it is probably a Western Digital.

    I just refuse to buy Western Digital products anymore. Even their external portable drives, like the My Book and Elements, etc have a huge HD failure rate.


  1. ASIMO

    Mac Elite

    Joined: May 2002



    I've always had much better success rate with Hitachi drives than any other drive.

  1. falconneil

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2011


    Hitachi, really?

    I've probably replaced 20 dying hard drives in intel iMacs and Mac Pros in the past 12 months and all of them have been Hitachi. I replaced one just yesterday and remarked how crappy Hitachi drives had become.

  1. peaksutah

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2011


    hitachi blows /bye

    Out of the last 20 Mac HD's I've replaced 2 have been a WD, 18 have been Hitachi. I always use WD for the replacement drive.

  1. Makosuke

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001


    And Then There Were Three

    Despite the anecdotal evidence, I haven't seen any real evidence since the Deathstar debacle of a decade ago that one brand is more reliable than another.

    It's a shame StorageReview's reliability survey isn't pushed harder, as it's the closest thing there is to a real attempt at figuring something statistically valid out.

    Personally, almost all the failed drives I've dealt with at work are Seagate, and I've lost two Seagates and a Deathstar at home, while I've never had a Samsung fail personally, nor have I seen a WD fail in quite some time.

    Regardless, this is somewhat sad, if not unexpected. The one thing I don't get is why none of the traditional hard drive manufacturers have pushed hard into SSDs. At this point it's probably a niche market, relatively speaking, but you'd think they'd want to get their foot solidly in the door earlier rather than later, yet none of the big four, now three, have well-known SSDs on the market.

    Odd man out Toshiba is the exception; I wonder if it has something to do with the fact that they only make notebook drives, and so saw the value of getting into SSDs hard (such as the MBA's blade SSDs).

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