March 29 2012
On March 2 2012 the Ministry of Commerce published another conditional clearance of concentration in the hard disk industry. The decision comes three months after it imposed similar conditions on Seagate's acquisition of Samsung's hard drive business. This time, the parties to the concentration parties are Western Digital and Viviti Technologies, with the ministry having defined the relevant market as the worldwide market for hard disk drives.
In appraising the effects of the concentration in question, the ministry took into account:
On this analysis, the ministry concluded that the concentration would probably have the effect of eliminating and restricting competition in the market for hard disk drives in China.
As a result of several rounds of negotiation with the concentration parties, the ministry followed the EU and US authorities in accepting the imposed divestiture. In addition, it required the parties to:
Companies will note with concern that the entire process - from the initial submission of filing documents to the ministry's final decision - took around 11 months, even longer than the seven-month wait in the Seagate/Samsung transaction.
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