Canon fires off salvo at Xerox

Canon will bring its long-standing relationship with HP to an end if the maker of expensive ink merges with Xerox.

For those who came in late, Canon has been providing laser jet components to HP. But Canon and Xerox compete in the multi-function printer and copier markets, and CEO Fujio Mitarai told Nikkei Asian Review that the 35-year relationship will be ended if Xerox gets its way, leaving HP to source another supplier.

“The foundation of this partnership is, above all else, built on a relationship of trust between the top management of both companies. At the same time, it also involves a great deal of technological exchange gradually established over the decades-long relationship. It is not something built overnight.”

Last month HP boss Lores said he believes the vendor only has around a 10 percent business crossover with Xerox, whereas Xerox and Canon compete more directly in the copier space.

HP shipped the most printers in the fourth quarter last year, according to IDC, at 9.8 million units. Canon and Epson followed with shipments of 5.4 million and 4.8 million respectively.

HP has rejected Xerox’s unsolicited takeover bid, citing reasons already made public. It claims that Xerox’s bid undervalues HP and its assets, and would be less lucrative to shareholders than HP’s own transformation plan, which will see it buy back billions of dollars’ worth of shares.