May 11, 2009 / 3:59 PM / 10 years ago

EU clears Toshiba to buy Fujitsu disk drive arm

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Japanese electronics giant Toshiba Corp won permission from European regulators on Monday to acquire the hard disk drive business of rival Fujitsu Ltd in a deal worth 30 billion yen ($305 million).

The European Commission, which polices competition in the 27-nation European Union, said in a statement the deal was unlikely to prevent downstream competition in the market and there would be no risk of excluding competing suppliers.

“Although the transaction would render the combined entity number one producer of mobile HDDs (hard disk drives) ... (the) market was competitive and the transaction would not give rise to competition concerns,” the Commission said.

Toshiba said in February it would buy Fujitsu’s loss-making hard disk drive business as it aimed to increase market share and cut costs in a weak industry. The firms signed the deal on April 30 and plan to complete the transaction by July 1.

Toshiba, the world’s No.5 maker of hard drives, said it aimed to capture more than 20 percent of the market by 2015, up from the combined 14 percent share Toshiba and Fujitsu held, and compete with bigger rivals Seagate Technology, Western Digital Corp and Hitachi Ltd.

The deal would free Fujitsu from a string of losses on its hard drives.

Reporting by Bate Felix; Editing by Dale Hudson

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