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Toshiba, Fujitsu and Vaio could form PC supergroup

Update 9:40 2/16/2016: The latest rumor about the allegedly ongoing discussions for the formation of the Toshiba, Fujitsu, Vaio joint-entity are that a deal is close to being reached. According to Hidemi Moue, chief executive officer of Japan Industrial Partners Inc. (via Bloomberg), Vaio is expected to reach an agreement to bring the three firm’s PC divisions into a single company by the end of March.

With a shrinking PC market over all, a consolidation much like that seen in the Japanese TV market would make a lot of sense. Cutting back on research, manufacturing, and transportation costs by combining resources would help keep all of the listed companies profitable throughout the next few years.

Not everyone is convinced, however. While it’s thought that the trio may be able to have some success in Japanese markets, analyst Damian Thong believes that it will need to do something special to have much success outside of Japan, where the likes of Dell, HP, and Lenovo still dominate.

Out of the three, Toshiba is the only one to remotely comment on the rumor, stating that it was always looking for new partnerships with potential for restructuring. Both Vaio and Fujitsu have refused to make any statements on the matter.

Original Story: Supergroups might be a common thing in the world of ageing pop stars, but it’s far less so in the world of technology. Still that doesn’t stop it happening now and again and the new rumor is that Toshiba, Fujitsu and Vaio may be set to team up to become one monstrous PC manufacturer.

For those that don’t quite remember, all three of these companies are Japanese multinational electronics manufacturers, between them totalling well into the hundreds of billions of dollars of net worth. Toshiba is a brand you’re probably familiar with, but Fujitsu is a manufacturer of laptops, server and storage hardware and Vaio is a spin-off of Sony’s computer brand, which it sold last year.

Although unconfirmed at this time, Nikkei reports that a deal is being worked out right now. If that comes to pass, it suggests that the trio’s new entity would control as much as 30 percent of the Japanese PC market. Together their collective stake in the global PC market would be expected to be around six percent – far from a small number on such a lucrative stage.

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It’s thought that the Vaio brand may be the face of the new company, since it enjoys a lot of name recognition in certain markets from its many years of association with Sony. This may come as a surprise to some, as Toshiba is perhaps more well known in the U.S., but despite its strong foothold there Toshiba has been making operating losses in its PC sector for some time now, so this move may help bring it back to profitability – as well as spread around associated costs and risks.

Although unlikely to be able to compete with the likes of Dell, HP and Lenovo, which between them control over half of the global PC market, this will at least bring a new major competitor to the table, and should lead to better prices and products for consumers.