EU regulators opened on Monday in-depth probes into two takeover bids in the computer hardware sector involving two Asian companies and two U.S. peers, saying it was concerned the deals would reduce the number of rivals.

U.S.-based Seagate Technology has said it wants to buy Samsung Electronics Co's lossmaking hard disk drive unit for $1.4 billion.

Western Digital plans to purchase Hitachi Ltd's hard disk drive business for $4.3 billion to give it an edge in developing next-generation storage technology.

The European Commission, the EU competition watchdog, which is now reviewing the two deals, said it wanted to take a closer look.

Hard drives are the backbone of the digital economy. The sector has already experienced significant consolidation and the proposed acquisitions will further reduce competition, Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said in a statement.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee)