Soon after news of Sharp and Toshiba’s LCD alliance, Hitachi, Canon and Panasonic (Matsushita) have agreed to similar LCD collaborations. The three companies plan to merge their strengths to accelerate the development of cutting-edge display technologies and expand their scope of application. Hitachi Limited possesses sophisticated liquid crystal-related technologies; Canon excels in camera, printer and medical equipment fields; and Matsushita commands global leadership in the flat-panel TV field. By March 31, 2008, Canon and Panasonic will each buy a 24.9% stake in Hitachi Displays, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hitachi that already makes small and medium size LCD panels. The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval, will see Hitachi’s stake become 50.2%. LCD panels are finding growing applications in a diverse array of fields, resulting in a steadily increasing global demand for all shapes and sizes.