The Wall Street Journal claims Siemens wants to end its nine year-old PC joint venture with Fujitsu.

A Fujitsu spokesman in Tokyo confirmed that the two companies are in discussions over the future of the 50:50 Fujitsu Siemens Computers joint venture, but said nothing has been decided to date. Siemens could not immediately be reached for comment.

The original agreement between the two companies is due to expire in 2009. If either party decides to exit the venture, the other party has the right to buy its shares, but in the current market, where price competition is cut-throat, it remains far from clear whether either company will want to invest the money into continuing the company.

The venture was formed on October 1, 1999, after a proposed venture between Siemens and Taiwan's Acer collapsed. Siemens was searching for a partner to enable it to better compete with larger American and Japanese hardware makers.

Fujitsu Siemens operates in 36 countries and employs around 10,500 people. In its last fiscal year it reported revenue of €6.6bn (£5bn) and a pretax profit of €105m.