– Eric Auchard is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own –
By Eric Auchard

LONDON, July 10 (Reuters) – The quickest way to attract a marriage proposal is to draw the attentions of a rival suitor.

When Data Domain <DDUP.O> agreed terms with fellow data storage company Network Appliance <NTAP.O> it concentrated minds at EMC <EMC.N>.

The upshot is that EMC is now paying an eye-watering six times sales for Data Domain, one-third more than NetApp first proposed to pay.

EMC could not bear to simply stand and watch. Data Domain has technology that threatens EMC’s business model. Its products reduce demand for existing data storage hardware by as much as 20 times.