Asus, Giga-byte JV could stabilise motherboard prices

Two of the world's largest motherboard makers plan to build a new company to combine sales of their branded desktop motherboard and graphics card products.

Two of the world's largest motherboard makers announced plans to build a new company to combine production of their desktop motherboard and graphics card products, they said late Tuesday.

Asustek Computer, the world's biggest maker of computer motherboards, the main circuit board inside a PC that connects all of its components and peripherals, will take over the production of brand name motherboards and graphics cards for Giga-byte Technology. The two Taiwanese companies said the deal will enable them to reduce raw materials costs since they'll be able to buy components in bulk.

The new company is expected to start operations in January of next year.

Users could see the end of rapid price declines for desktop motherboards and graphics cards as a result of the deal.

Despite lower raw material costs, the two companies will hold more market share and work more closely together. That's a big difference from the past, when motherboard makers launched massive price wars against each other in order to gain market share. The price wars often cut into company profit margins, giving users bargain prices.

"We expect the industry to benefit from less intensified price competition, which should improve motherboard makers' revenues and earnings quality," said Henry King [CQ], executive director of technology research for Goldman Sachs (Asia), in Taipei, in a report.

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