* Western Digital agreed significant asset sales - sources
* EU regulator likely to clear deal next week
By Foo Yun Chee
BRUSSELS, Nov 16 Western Digital
is set to win EU regulatory approval to acquire Hitachi Ltd's
hard disk drive business after agreeing to sell some
operations to alleviate competition concerns, two persons
familiar with the case said on Wednesday.
"It will be a conditional clearance. Western Digital is
making fairly sizeable divestitures," said one person, declining
to provide details because of the sensitivity of the issue.
The European Commission is likely to approve the deal next
week, ahead of its scheduled Nov. 30 deadline for a decision,
the people said.
Western Digital shares were up 5.8 percent to $26.46 by 1708
The EU competition watchdog opened an in-depth investigation
into the deal in May. It also investigated a plan by Seagate
Technology to buy Samsung Electronics' hard disk drive, citing
concerns that the deals would shrink the number of players in
It approved the Seagate and Samsung deal last month without
Western Digital, the world's No. 2 player in the hard drive
sector, and No. 3 player Hitachi in March unveiled the proposed
$4.3 billion deal, which will give Western Digital an edge in
developing next-generation storage technology.
Flash drives, or solid-state drives, use less power, are
faster and are widely viewed within the industry as the future
of the disk drive industry. They are increasingly being built
into laptop PCs and tablet computers.