Since Toshiba announced that it would be selling off its NAND flash factory business, it has run into a number of legal issues with Western Digital. The two firms own joint stakes in a Japanese NAND factory, leaving WD in a tough position, given that Toshiba could sell its stake off to a major competitor. This led to lawsuits being thrown back and forth between the two companies, but it seems that this week, they have settled things.
As competitors like SK Hynix and Micron began showing interest in Toshiba’s stake in the joint NAND factory, Western Digital grew uneasy and tried to block the sale. Since then, WD and Toshiba appear to have settled their outstanding legal disputes, allowing the Toshiba sale to go through.
As part of the new agreement, Toshiba Memory Corp (TMC) and Western Digital will jointly invest in the new Fab 6 facility in Yokkaichi in order to jointly develop BiCS 3D NAND flash chips. This deal will extent to a second fabrication facility in Iwate.
TMC’s President and Chief Executive, Dr. Yasuo Naruke said that the company is “pleased to have reached this outcome, which clearly benefits all involved”. On Western Digital’s end, CEO Steve Milligan added that the company is “very pleased that these agreements accomplish critical goals” while also allowing TMC to achieve its own key objectives.
KitGuru Says: It looks like Toshiba and WD have squashed their issues and will continue working together well into the future. Perhaps Apple and Samsung could take notes.