The Sony spin-off Vaio has announced that it plans to merge with the computer divisions of its rivals Toshiba and Fujitsu as early as next month to form a Japanese "PC giant". With the PC market in decline, Hidemi Moue — the chief executive officer of Japan Industrial Partners which controls Vaio — has announced that it expects to reach an agreement with the other two companies in March. Bloomberg reports that Vaio would hold the largest stake in the PC super group.
The idea would be to share resources, saving money on R&D and production costs. It's hardly a new concept: We've seen the same thing happen with displays and semiconductors in the last decade. Moue explained what will happen this time around:
The PC market is shrinking, which means there are merits in working together to make the most of research, production volumes and marketing channels... We can do it with minimal cannibalization.
Of course, displays and chips simply go on the inside, allowing the end product to differ. A merger like this will likely create a more homogenised final product. Maybe that's what is required: All three companies have struggled in the face of slowing PC sales, a market which shrank by 10 per cent last year according to Bloomberg.
The merged company would account for about a third of the Japanese market, which according to Moue is where it would focus it attentions, initially at least. So you might not be buying a Vaio-Toshiba-Fujitsu hybrid just yet, even if things get decided in March.