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Western Digital agrees to buy SanDisk for $19 billion

In a surprise move, Western Digital has agreed to buy out one of its biggest competitors.

The data storage hardware company has purchased SanDisk in a huge $19 billion deal.

Western Digital is paying the sum in a mixture of cash and stock, giving it access to SanDisk’s entire flash business.

“This transformational acquisition aligns with our long-term strategy to be an innovative leader in the storage industry by providing compelling, high-quality products with leading technology,” says Steve Mulligan, Western Digital’s CEO.

He adds: “I’m excited to welcome the SanDisk team.”

Western Digital is a US company founded back in 1970, since growing to become one of the world’s largest vendors of hard disk drives.

SanDisk, also based in the US, is slightly newer, having been founded in 1988. Its fortunes, however, come courtesy of flash memory storage solutions.

By purchasing SanDisk, Western Digital can now have a much more significant hold on the storage market thanks to SanDisk’s flash business.

It also gives Western Digital access to a combined portfolio of over 15,000 patents.

Related: Best Cloud Storage Service 2015

The transaction has now been approved by the boards of directors of both companies, and the deal is expected to close in the third calendar quarter of 2016.

Milligan will continue to work as CEO of Western Digital, while SanDisk CEO Sanjay Mehrotra will join the company’s board of directors.

Do you think this acquisition is good or bad for consumers? Let us know in the comments.

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