Western Digital, maker of hard drives and other storage products, recently acquired SanDisk in a deal that is said to be valued at $19 billion. The deal will make Western Digital an active player in the flash memory storage chips market. These chips are widely used in smartphones and tablets. While Western Digital is into traditional storage, SanDisk is into NAND technology which is used in solid-state drives used in cloud computing, data centers, smartphones and laptops.
In the deal, Western Digital is pictured to gain much since SanDisk has substantial non-volatile memory intellectual property and it also will get the flash memory manufacturing clout of SanDisk which has an existing joint venture with Japanese brand Toshiba.
The purchase of SanDisk by Western Digital is reportedly a result of a declining U.S. semiconductor industry which competes with cheaper Chinese-made products.
What does the WD and SanDisk deal mean to other brands like Seagate? Analysts say that Seagate and other HDD and SSD manufacturers will be forced to make similar deals in order to them to compete. These other companies apparently do not have direct ownership of flash memory manufacturing, which Western Digital now has thanks to SanDisk.