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JVC, Kenwood officially hook up

The two Japanese audio equipment makers will combine to form JVC Kenwood Holdings, which will focus on home and car audio equipment.

Victor and Kenwood said Monday that they plan to become one company by October 1 this year.

The two Japanese audio equipment makers will combine to form JVC Kenwood Holdings, which will be based in Yokohama, near Tokyo. Victor, a subsidiary of electronics giant Matsushita, is best known for its JVC brand. Under the agreement, Kenwood Chairman Haruho Kawahara will become the holding company's chairman, while Victor President Kunihiko Sato will become the new company's president.

It came in fits and starts, but the two have finally settled on a merger agreement. It was first discussed last year, and since then the two have agreed to develop future car and home audio systems together.

The new business will focus on car electronics, home electronics, and professional wireless systems, and will also explore new product segments. The two companies are combining in hopes of reducing costs and scaling their distribution in the already-crowded Japanese consumer electronics market. For the same reason, Victor said last month it would no longer make flat-panel TVs for the Japanese market.