Western Digital's proposed acquisition of Hitachi Global Storage will hurt competition: China

The Chinese antitrust regulator has told Western Digital to address concerns that its proposed acquisition of Global Storage Technologies (GST), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hitachi Ltd, will hurt competition before it approves the deal.

Shang Ming, head of the ministry of Commerce's anti-monopoly unit, said in Beijing today that Western Digital's acquisition will hurt competition in the market for computer hard-disk drives and his ministry will seek ''appropriate solutions'' to address its concerns.

''China is the world's biggest computer consumer and the deal will have a negative impact on Chinese consumers,'' Ming said.

California-based Western Digital had in March proposed to buy GST, for $4.3 billion in a cash-and-stock transaction, a move that would make it the largest manufacturer of mechanical hard-disk drives for computers. (See: Western Digital acquires GST from Hitachi in $4.3-bn cash-and-stock deal)

The European Commission (EC) approved the deal last month only after Western Digital agreed to sell off some disk-drive production since Western Digital would have its rival Seagate Technology to compete with in the 3.5-inch hard disk drives segment.

The EC had in October approved Seagate's acquisition of Samsung Electronics Co's computer hard-disk drive operations.