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Sony to start selling chips online by November

Aiming for $2 billion Web sales

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Japanese giants Sony and Mitsubishi are to start selling chips and components online.

Sony plans to be flogging CD players, audio-visual kit and computer parts online within two to three months, including all the 4000 different types of chips it makes.

The company expects Web sales to account for 65 per cent of group sales of semiconductor components - around ¥220 billion ($2 billion) - by next April, Bloomberg reported.

Fellow Japanese manufacturer Mitsubishi Electric also plans to sell parts online from early 2001 - it is targeting system chips that combine memory and processing functions on one piece of silicon.

Semiconductor makers hope that by selling online they will save cash on shop and staff costs and be able to cut prices to customers.

Meanwhile, Electronic Devices Information Service Network - which provides product info to buyers - is to create an online components market in October where buyers can log on for quotes and orders. The site will also include a facility to let buyers get volume discounts of small orders.

The companies will join NEC, which has been selling non-chip semiconductor parts - used in mobile phones, computers, TVs, etc. - over the Net since June. ®

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