Samsung and Sony ponder LCD alliance

South Korea's Samsung Electronics and Japan's Sony said on Monday they were considering a joint venture for liquid crystal display (LCD) panels for televisions and computers. "If signed, it would be a win-win strategy for both of them,'' said Song Myong-sup, an analyst at Meritz Securities in Seoul.

"Samsung also wants to protect itself from a potential supply glut of flat panels in the future by securing a solid customer base and Sony will help it out.'' The possible joint venture comes as Samsung, the world's second-largest maker of LCD panels, plans to invest 20 trillion won (£10bn) in new production lines for liquid crystal displays by 2010.

Sony, the world's largest consumer electronics maker, would get a steady supply of flat screens for products it considers a key growth area for its struggling electronics division. "We are reviewing various methods of cooperation, including a joint venture, but no detailed decision has been made yet,'' Samsung said in a filing to the Korea Stock Exchange. Sony spokeswoman Mina Naito said the company was in talks with several firms, including Samsung, about a possible tie-up in flat panels, but no decision had been made. Sony has launched a major offensive against rivals in the fast-growing market for flat-panel TVs, aiming to capture a bigger slice of a market that it has lagged in.

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News source: ZDnet (UK)

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