In Brief

Back to Contents of Issue: April 2003

Sotec Teams with PC Depot -- ADSL Price War Hits New Low

Sotec Teams with PC Depot to Offer "Japan's Cheapest" PCs

IN BRIEF: Computer maker Sotec and major PC chain PC Depot formed a business alliance to develop a joint brand, Valueup, which they claim will be Japan's cheapest PC. The Valueup series, consisting of three types, is priced between JPY49,700 and JPY79,700. Valueup PCs started selling at PC Depot's stores and over the Net in March.

COMMENTARY: Sotec was once a rising star on Nasdaq Japan, its image one of low prices and good quality. But its balance sheets deteriorated; the company simply expanded too fast. Now, troubled Sotec is trying to revive its businesses under the leadership of a private-equity fund. Active Investment Partners (AIP) last year acquired a 17.7 percent share of Sotec to become the largest shareholder.

ADSL Price War Hits New Low: Providers Offer Connections for Free

IN BRIEF: NTT Communications is offering three months of free ADSL connections for OCN subscribers who sign up by the end of April. Also, NTT East is offering two months of free Flet's ADSL connections through September. These NTT group companies are also lowering their regular monthly fees.

COMMENTARY: ADSL is getting even cheaper due to this cut-throat price war. Yahoo! BB was initially one of the cheapest, but now NTT group is catching up. ADSL subscribers had reached 5.64 million by the end of December 2002.

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