updated 08:15 am EST, Wed December 26, 2007
Hitachi LCD Maker Deal
Hitachi has confirmed previous reports that it will sell stakes in its LCD business to Canon and Matsushita, giving each firm just short of a 25 percent shareholder stake in the company. The move is spurred on by "intensifying competition" in the LCD field that needs investment and a stable supply, according to Hitachi. In exchange, the electronics giant will be able to refine its In-Plane Switching (IPS) technology for LCDs and improve its resulting Wooo HDTV line.
Canon and Matsushita will stand to gain in separate ways, according to Hitachi. The former intends to focus on small LCDs for its digital SLR cameras and other portable devices but will also work with Hitachi to develop ultra-thin OLED screens as well. Matsushita, which produces TVs under its Panasonic label, claims the deal will keep the technology of its LCD HDTVs advancing at the same pace as the plasma sets that form the backbone of its TV business. It too also hopes to work on OLED technology in the future using Hitachi as a manufacturing base.
The deal should be completed by the end of March, though none of the companies have indicated when they expect the partnership to result in price changes or newer technology.