Report: Fujitsu to sell hard drive unit to Western Digital

Fujitsu will sell its hard disk drive business to Western Digital, according to a Japan-based report.

Fujitsu is in talks to sell its hard disk drive business to Western Digital, according to a Japan-based report.

Western Digital is the second-largest hard disk drive maker in the world behind Seagate Technology. Fujitsu's HDD unit is ranked sixth.

Fujitsu would sell all of its plants--including those in Japan, Thailand, and the Philippines--for between 70 billion yen and 100 billion yen (approximately $660 million to $944 million), according to Japan's Nikkei news service.

This would be one of the largest business unit sell-offs for a Japanese electronics company, Nikkei said, adding that Fujitsu's hard disk drive business has been posting losses.

The deal would be finalized by the end of the year, according to Nikkei.

A Western Digital representative would not comment on the report.

Beyond the brutal price competition that is typical in the hard disk drive industry, there is a clear-and-present threat now from solid-state drives. Until this year relegated to digital camera and music player storage, solid-state drives are now making inroads--albeit small--in laptops, particularly ultraportables like the MacBook Air, Dell's new E4200 line, and Netbooks such as the Asus Eee PC.

Solid-state drive suppliers such Intel, Micron Technology, Samsung, and STEC are also beginning to target SSDs as replacements for hard disk drives in the enterprise.

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