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Western Digital Ordered to Pay $525 Million To Seagate

The battle between hard driver makers Seagate and Western Digital over misappropriated company secrets has ended somewhat inconclusively on Friday, with arbiters ordering Western Digital to pay 525 million dollars to Seagate. The decision is the capstone to a rough year for Western Digital that included massive flooding in Thailand, where the company produces 60 percent of its drives. WD is thus far refusing to comply with the order, vowing instead to fight the decision in court.

"We do not believe there is any basis in law or fact for the damage award of the arbitrator. We believe the company acted properly at all times," president and CEO John Coyne said in a statement issued to the media, "and we will vigorously challenge the award."

The fight started in 2006, when Seagate moved to sue after a former employee hired by Western Digital allegedly shared "confidential information and trade secrets". The court case was postponed in 2007 when the two parties chose to enter arbitration. With Friday's decision, and Western Digital's vow to fight it, the battle that has already lasted five years is likely to intensify. Though the decision appears to be a stunning loss, Western Digital reported Q3 2011 earnings of nearly 4 billion dollars; their planned 4.3 billion dollar acquisition of Hitachi GST will go forward as planned. Western Digital and Seagate dominate the hard drive market, controlling a respective 32 percent and 31 percent.

  • No one wants to steal Seagate's secrets anymore because their drives are shit
    Reply
  • back_by_demand
    $525 million should buy a lot of sandbags for the next time the factory gets flooded.
    Reply
  • inerax
    More reason to stick with WD.
    Reply
  • nikorr
    WD rulez...
    Reply
  • nikorr
    Seagate is not bad, and without them prices would be a lot higher : )
    Reply
  • TheWhiteRose000
    Wait so that explains why I can't ever find the Hitachi terabyte I need for a raid 1.
    Huh, well I do feel kinda stupid cause I read about this previously I just never bothered to think about it.
    Upside though Hitachi going 4 years strong, so reliability of Hitachi with epicness of a Western Digital?
    Reply
  • jdamon113
    Seagate is desporate becasue there drives suck. WD had never failed me.
    Reply
  • digiex
    $525 million will be enough to relocate its factories to the Philippines.
    Reply
  • turboedge
    Great, by the time the Hitachi 1tb per platter drives are affordable, WDC will have eliminated them from the product line.
    Reply
  • N.Broekhuijsen
    Seagate.... Sea... Gate....

    ok lame.

    anyways screw seagate, WD all the way!!
    Reply