Two years after Seagate's buyout of Maxtor, more consolidation may be in store for the hard drive industry. According to CNet, three Japanese companies—Hitachi, Fujitsu, and Toshiba—are discussing the possibility of creating a joint venture that would combine their ailing storage divisions.
The venture would include Hitachi's Global Storage Technologies arm, Toshiba's hard drive division, and "some of the storage systems technology" from Fujitsu. Each company would own a third of the venture. As an alternative to the storage triumvirate, CNet says Hitachi is also eying a possible sale of its unprofitable hard drive business to private equity firm Silver Lake. However, cultural differences and corporate tradition are reportedly pulling Hitachi toward its Japanese peers.
If Hitachi, Fujitsu, and Toshiba ink a deal, they are expected to do so by April 1—the start of the new Japanese business year. CNet adds that it hasn't yet been able to confirm that rumor, though.