Rumours that IBM wants to acquire direct PC supplier Gateway refuse to die down, and both companies saw their share prices rise this week on the back of growing speculation.
"It's not the first time we've heard this rumour, and it continues to make sense. Gateway is the slickest creation, it excels at direct sales...with an amazing turnaround - IBM would love such a slick manufacturing operation," said Robin Bloor, managing director of Bloor Research.
Neither company was prepared to comment, but analysts in the US and UK said such a marriage had a strong rationale, which has no bearing on whether it will happen.
"Gateway would benefit from IBM's skill at creative technologies like the ThinkPad. It would be an intelligent move, a real synergy of good channels and good products," said Bloor. It is not so long ago that Compaq was thinking of stepping out with Gateway, but was soundly rapped on the knuckles by the rest of the industry.
"It was different with Compaq because it's the market leader," said Bloor.
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