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Rumors are circulating at this hour that Asus has made an offer to acquire fellow motherboard maker ASRock. Charlie Demerjian from SemiAccurate says ASRock's parent company, Pegatron, approves of the takeover bid but nothing is official yet.
It may come as a surprise to some that ASRock isn't exactly a mediocre manufacturer. In fact, they overtook MSI in 2010 to become the third largest board maker in the world. Asus remains the top manufacturer with 22 million boards shipped while Gigabyte placed second at 18 million units. In the same time frame, MSI and ECS both shipped around seven million boards.
If the deal goes through, this would be the second time that Asus has owned ASRock. The company was originally formed in 2002 to compete with manufacturers like Foxconn on the entry level / OEM market. This allowed ASRock to gain a following without competing directly with Asus' higher end product lineup.
ASRock was eventually spun off and picked up by Pegatron. Since then, they've developed a solid reputation as an all-around quality board maker. They still offer budget mainboards but now ship mid-range and high-end products as well.
An acquisition would only help to solidify Asus' position as the top board maker in the world. Demerjian believes the move would even force smaller players out of the already unhealthy industry completely. An industry dominated by Asus and Gigabyte could become a reality before people even realize what happened, Demerjian says.
Discussions are ongoing but we could hear more on this in the near future.