BONN, Germany (CN) – The European Union has given Seagate Technology its blessing to acquire Samsung’s hard drive business, concluding that the merger would still leave enough competitors on the European market.
Seagate notified the European Commission of its intended acquisition in April, leading the EU’s executive branch to start an investigation.
The commission’s examination of the market took into account separate worldwide markets for 3.5-inch drives used in desktop computers and 2.5-inch drives used mostly in laptops.
It concluded that California-based Seagate would still have to contend with competition on the European market from hard drive producers Western Digital, Hitachi and Toshiba – though Toshiba only offers competition on the market for more compact drives.
Seagate’s proposed acquisition of Hitachi’s hardware branch, including hard disk drives and flash drive technologies, is still pending before the commission.
Western Digital is also based in California, while Hitachi and Toshiba are Japanese.
Seagate reportedly paid $1.38 billion to acquire the hard drive business from Samsung, a South Korean company.
Some market analysts think technology for spinning hard drives is on its way out, as increasingly popular smart phones, tablet computers and portable music players generally use solid-state flash memory.