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Thursday, February 04, 2016
Europe Clears Acquisition of SanDisk by Western Digital

The European Commission has approved the proposed acquisition of data SanDisk by rival Western Digital,after concluding the takeover would not adversely affect competition in Europe.

Western Digital and SanDisk both provide computer storage solutions, such as hard disk drives or solid state drives based on flash memory, for the consumer electronics and enterprise markets. The Commission found that the overlap between the activities of the companies is effectively limited to the market for enterprise space for flash memory storage solutions, including enterprise solid-state drives.

The Commission found that, despite the merged entity's relatively high combined market share, the transaction does not raise competition concerns. In particular, strong and established players such as Intel, Toshiba, Micron and Samsung are active on the market and will continue to exert competitive pressure on the merged entity.

The Commission also investigated the vertical link between SanDisk's activities in the production of flash memory and the downstream markets for enterprise flash memory storage solutions. The Commission concluded that the merged entity would be unable to shut out competitors from access to flash memory and that competing producers of flash memory would still have a sufficient customer base. This is because SanDisk's presence on the upstream market for flash memory manufacturing is limited and several competitors will remain active in the production of flash memory, solid state drives and other flash memory storage solutions.

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