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Western Digital, the world’s second largest maker of hard disk drives (HDDs), is in talks regarding acquisition of hard drive business from Fujitsu. The two companies are projected to sign the deal, which would substantially boost WD’s positions on the market of mobile HDDs, by the end of the year.

According to Japanese news-paper Nikkei, which is quoted by IDG News Service, Western Digital plans to acquire Fujitsu’s HDD business unit along with plants in Japan, the Philippines and Thailand for ¥70 billion to ¥100 billion (US$661 million to US$944 million). At present the companies are still in talks, but if everything goes well, the agreement is expected to be reached by the end of 2008.

Western Digital commanded 22.5% of the HDD market in 2007, according to IDC, whereas market share of Fujitsu was 7.1%. Even though the combined company (with 29.6% of the market) would not be able to beat Seagate Technologies, which supplied about 35% last year, but Fujitsu has a lot of experience in making hard drives for mobile computers, which would automatically make WD much stronger overall.

Earlier this year it was rumoured that Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, which is the globe’s No. 3 maker of HDDs, expressed interest in acquiring hard disk units from Fujitsu and Toshiba, which would allow it to become the second largest hard drive vendor. In fact, the combination of Hitachi, Fujitsu and Toshiba would be able to command approximately 33% of the market.

Neither WD nor Fujitsu commented on the news-story.

Tags: WD, Fujitsu, Hitachi, Toshiba

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