Flash meets flash in £13bn storage deal as European Commission rules that buyout won’t harm competition
The European Commission has cleared hard drive giant Western Digital’s purchase of SanDisk, concluding that the acquisition does not pose a threat to competition in Europe.
It was last October when Western Digital announced it would acquire SanDisk for $19bn, boosting Western Digital’s portfolio of flash storage.
“I am pleased that we have been able to ensure that this multi-billion dollar deal in a fast-developing industry can go ahead without delay,” said Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, who is in charge of competition policy.
“We have worked efficiently, in cooperation with our US counterparts, to scrutinise the takeover in this strategically important IT sector and have concluded that there would be no adverse effects on either retail or commercial customers.”
American firms Western Digital and SanDisk both produce storage products for computers and smartphones, and the investigation by the European Commission looked into whether the purchase would harm other vendors in Europe.
The commission found that the because of the overlap of the two companies’ products, which is limited to the enterprise flash memory storage market, the deal could go ahead.
Western Digital and SanDisk do have a number of “complementary” product lines, including hard disk drives (“HDDs”), solid-state drives (“SSDs”), cloud data centre storage solutions and flash storage solutions.
Western Digital is however a more traditional storage giant than SanDisk, and the deal will give it access to SanDisk’s NAND technology which will allow it to better compete in the solid-state drive (SSD) market.
“This transformational acquisition aligns with our long-term strategy to be an innovative leader in the storage industry by providing compelling, high-quality products with leading technology,” said Steve Milligan, CEO of Western Digital, last October.
“The combined company will be ideally positioned to capture the growth opportunities created by the rapidly evolving storage industry. I’m excited to welcome the SanDisk team as we look to create additional value for all of our stakeholders, including our customers, shareholders and employees.”