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  1. Technology
February 6, 1989


By CBR Staff Writer

Although the computer sector in Spain has already been moving in the direction of larger groupings, so that Spain will not lose out to other European competition in 1992, the Spanish authorities have now decided on a definite strategy to create one or two groups sufficiently large to join in the big European alliances. The whole plan will follow the General Direction of Electronics and New Technology laid out in the country’s National Electronic and Computer Project. These moves towards creating two big holdings in the telecommunications and software sectors were probably inspired by the recent activities of companies in other European countries – Alcatel NV’s industrial manoeuvres, and Siemens AG’s alliance with GEC Plc to gang up on Plessey Co. Actions within Spain, such as the recent liquidation of Marconi SA can be viewed as part of this strategy. Clearly, a unified European market makes sense in the light of competing US and Japanese companies. More specifically, the Spanish strategy will mean more indigenous groups capable of big investment in research and development, manufacturing technology, and commercial networks, as well as a strengthening of the Spanish economy. On the other hand, it may also mean less support for small, native companies specialising in supplying components and subsystems, who will not be allowed to join in on the big contracts in the Spanish electronics sector. Nevertheless, the government’s new strategy is seen as a golden opportunity for the industry in Spain, providing it is able to act fast enough. The government is to implement the plan by signing an agreement with big institutions in its bureaucracy, such as the departments of defence, the interior, transport, and telecommunications, with the final aim of harmonising their needs with the research and development plans of companies in the telecommunications sector. The companies involved include Amper SA which will combine its activities with Pesa Electronica SA, Inisel SA and Marconi Espana; and Telefonica de Espana SA which will combine with the INI group, but Fujitsu Espana SA, in which Telefonica is a partner, is also well-placed to play a major role, the Japanese company having scrupulously played by Spanish rules.

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