updated 01:30 pm EST, Tue March 6, 2012
FTC imposes restrictions on WD buy of Hitachi
The Federal Trade Commission has ruled that Western Digital sell its desktop hard drive manufacturing assets and some Intellectual Property rights to Toshiba, following its multi-billion purchase of Hitachi. The condition of the sale is needed, the FTC believed, because the original deal would have left WD as one of just two global desktop hard drive makers. The FTC ruled the deal as uncompetitive and feels its ruling will maintain "vigorous competition" in the worldwide market that should result in competitive prices and innovation in the field.
The FTC proposal would have WD divest some Hitachi assets related to the research and development, manufacturing, and selling of desktop hard drives to Toshiba within 15 days of acquiring Hitachi.
WD earlier proposed to sell some of its assets to Toshiba to let it make 3.5-inch hard drives for home users.
At about this time last year, when WD revealed it was buying Hitachi, Seagate was the second largest player in the hard disk drive market, at 29 percent, while WD and Hitachi held 31 and 18 percent, respectively. [via PCWorld]