The battle is over. EMC has outbidded NetApp and looks to have snapped up de-dupe specialist Data Domain for $2.1(£1.3) billion. The takeover has still to be approved by shareholders but Data Domain's board has agreed terms and recommended that the EMC deal is in shareholders' best interests.

Data Domain has terminated its previously announced merger deal with NetApp. Data Domain said it paid NetApp a $57 million termination fee under terms of that agreement.

NetApp Chairman and CEO Dan Warmenhoven said his company was focused on creating long-term value for its shareholders. "We therefore cannot justify engaging in an increasingly expensive and dilutive bidding war that would diminish the deal's strategic and financial benefits," Warmenhoven said. NetApp said it had received the $57 million termination fee.

The bidding war highlighted the intense interest in data de-duplication, which identifies redundant data and deletes it in order to save storage space. As the amount of data enterprises need to store rapidly grows, they are looking for ways to reduce how much storage they have to buy. De-duplication can slash the space requirement for many types of data by more than half, vendors say. Data Domain was a pioneer of this technology, which most storage vendors have in some form today.

Data Domain agreed to a $1.5 billion bid from NetApp in May, but EMC countered that with an unsolicited offer of $1.8 billion. NetApp soon equalled that, but earlier this week EMC brought out its latest offer. EMC Chairman, President and CEO Joe Tucci has said his company made a more attractive suitor because, among other things, it was offering all cash instead of NetApp's combination of cash and stock.