Two of the hard drive industry's biggest players will soon be just one company. European Union regulators have given a conditional thumbs-up to Western Digital's
plans to snatch up Hitachi's
storage division for $4.3 billion. The companies are the second and third largest hard disk manufacturers in the world (respectively) behind Seagate, which purchased Samsung's HDD division
back in April. Out of concern for the quickly consolidating market, regulators only approved the Western Digital deal after assurances that the company would sell off some its production assets, including a manufacturing plant, and transfer some intellectual property to the new unit being put on the auction block. As soon as WD finds a buyer it'll be free and clear to take over Hitachi's HDD division. So, anyone interested in a hard drive manufacturing plant?