Toshiba becomes third player in WD’s acquisition of Hitachi storage

As part of its bid to acquire Hitachi’s hard drive business, Western Digital has agreed to transfer an "asset package" to rival HDD maker Toshiba. The combination of equipment and intellectual property will allow Toshiba to manufacture 3.5" desktop drives, a class of products it doesn’t currently produce. Toshiba makes 3.5" drives for servers in addition to 2.5" models for multiple markets, but that’s about it for internal mechanical storage.

As part of the deal, WD will acquire a Toshiba HDD facility in Thailand—one that hasn’t resumed operations since being flooded last fall. The facility and its employees are expected to be integrated into Western Digital’s Thailand operations when the deal goes through.

As the press release points out, WD is giving Toshiba the tools to make 3.5" desktop drives in order to "address the requirements of regulatory agencies that have conditionally approved or are continuing to review the company’s planned acquisition of Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (HGST)." It seems WD had to take on a water-logged facility to make the deal worth Toshiba’s while, although nothing has been finalized yet. The Toshiba deal only goes through if WD completes its acquisition of HGST, which could happen as early as next month. Thanks to The Verge for the tip.

Comments closed
    • ronch
    • 8 years ago

    I like Hitachi drives due to their significantly lower prices. Guess that’s over now.

    • pogsnet
    • 8 years ago
    • sschaem
    • 8 years ago

    I wonder if WD is rebuilding all its factory in the exact same place? seem like its the case.

    I guess they have it on good authority that it will never rain again in Thailand….

      • Welch
      • 8 years ago

      Or hopefully they will rebuild the building to withstand floods to a certain height?

      • willmore
      • 8 years ago

      Reminds me of the people from my hometown who had homes down in the river valley. Every few years it would flood and destroy their homes. There would be a cry of “oh, how terrible, let’s help them”. They’d rebuild *right on the same spot*. A few years later it would food and destory their homes.

      *facepalm* Okay, having your ‘house on the floodplain’ destroyed once is poor planning. The second time you’re just being an idiot. You don’t deserve sympathy, you deserve contempt.

      I hope, if they rebuild, that they’ll do *something* to make them more likely to withstand flooding better.

        • UberGerbil
        • 8 years ago

        Flood insurance [i<]required[/i<] that behavior. Even if you wanted to rebuild somewhere more sensible, you only got your insurance payout if you fixed/replaced the existing building, on the same spot. The National Flood Insurance Program, which backstopped the private insurers (started in 1968 but perpetuated by every administration and congress since), made sure of that.

          • helix
          • 8 years ago

          How would they recoup the payouts if demand for flood insurances had fallen? Why fix a problem at a loss if you can perpetuate the problem at a profit?

    • bcronce
    • 8 years ago

    I hope Hitachi’s quality doesn’t go down.

      • faramir
      • 8 years ago

      Down … where ? Hitachi DeathStar are about as low as disks can get, followed closely by < drumroll please! > Western Digital’s offerings.

        • UberGerbil
        • 8 years ago

        I think you’ll find some folks here disagreeing with you. The reality is that very few people watch over a sample of drives from all the manufacturers large enough to draw statistically valid conclusions about the reliability of any of them.

          • A_Pickle
          • 8 years ago

          I’ll corroborate your point. Hitachi hasn’t been at the top of the performance graphs in hard drives (not like that’s a big deal), but the last three drives I’ve purchased have been Hitachi’s — one 500 GB for my external HDD, and two 1 TB drives within my desktop (matter of fact, the only drive I’ve ever had mysteriously fail on me was a Western Digital). None of them have failed out of normal use — though, the 500 GB drive has been dropped on the ground [i<]four times[/i<], and it has been RMA'd [i<]four times[/i<]. I've paid, maybe $35 over the past four years to have that damn thing replaced, and Hitachi has never given me any trouble about it. Yeah. I'll be buying Hitachi for awhile to come.

        • CB5000
        • 8 years ago

        God, how long ago was that? Those DeathStar hard drives were originally IBM’s faulty design that Hitachi put their name on afterwards when they merged their hard drive bussiness. In my experience, no current major manufacturer of hard drives have an edge over another. I’ve had DoAs, early failures, and other problems with Toshiba, Hitachi, Western Digital, Seagate, and Samsung hard drives. Tho I would say the failure rate is higher for notebook drives from what I experience…. So price, performance, and model reliability is a much higher consideration for me rather than the brand.

        • bcronce
        • 8 years ago

        I asked my cousin about which HDs he likes, and he told me he has had the best luck on average with Hitachi. His portion of the datacenter has over 10,000 harddrives.

        • smilingcrow
        • 8 years ago

        “Hitachi DeathStar are about as low as disks can get”

        I refuse to buy Fords as they never fully addressed the issues with the model T.
        BTW, IBM manufactured the YawnStar range prior to Hitachi purchasing them.

    • Farting Bob
    • 8 years ago

    Why is the Toshiba deal linked to them taking over Hitachi’s HDD business?

      • Taddeusz
      • 8 years ago

      From the article:

      [quote<]WD is giving Toshiba the tools to make 3.5" desktop drives in order to "address the requirements of regulatory agencies that have conditionally approved or are continuing to review the company's planned acquisition of Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (HGST)."[/quote<] In other words it's a requirement of the Federal Trade Commission or a regulatory agency in another country for the acquisition to be completed.

        • Ratchet
        • 8 years ago

        Yes, essentially that means WD must help Toshiba become a more serious competitor so that WD doesn’t create a less competitive market by acquiring Hitachi HDD.

          • nanoflower
          • 8 years ago

          Which makes me wonder why this deal was approved? If one of the regulatory agencies believes that the industry must have a third competitor in all of the markets then why allow WD to purchase Hitachi? Or Seagate to purchase Samsung? Something seems a bit odd in this decision.

            • Sahrin
            • 8 years ago

            Yes. Exactly.

            Thank you FTC, for fucking us all in the ass once again.

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