Just the notion that WDC is ready to outbid TPG was enough, so that STX management got scared away from selling cheap to TPG. Going private on a cheap is the best for the management and the worst for shareholders. Selling to a competitor is the best for shareholders, but not good for management, because they will have to leave their positions with the company. Antitrust issues are not very clear -- there are other hard drive manufacturers besides WDC and STX. And if we think of storage in general = SSD or HD, then the competitor space is huge. Also WDC knows about antitrust as well, and yet they were willing to approach. I think WDC just wanted to spoil the TPG takeover.
Certainly plausible...perhaps the overhang of WDC interest swayed KKR and Bain to stear clear.
However, WDC has formally stated that they are interested in acquisition--just listen to CC they conduct; so WDC may continue to be interested in purchasing STX. Anti-trust concerns are there but that is why Corporate legal staff get paid so well, to figure out all the options.
And I for one, as a long term STX investor, am glad that they did.
Management I'm sure is not but the best way for them to get back at WD for spoiling their party now is to do the job they're being paid so richly for: i.e. running a disk drive company and to stop their self serving reindeer financial transaction games.