Sony, Hitachi, & Toshiba Merge Display Businesses
Although three major electronics manufacturers joining forces is big enough news by itself, the involvement of the INCJ adds a layer of intrigue. INCJ is semi-public and receives some funding from the Japanese government; Reuters reports that as much as 90% of its funding, in fact, comes from the government. The INCJ, by investing 200 billion yen, will hold 70% of the group’s stake, with Sony, Hitachi, and Toshiba each claiming 10%.
Reuters reports that the combined market share of Sony, Hitachi, and Toshiba--er, Japan Display--will make it the number one manufacturer of small- and medium-sized displays, leapfrogging number two Sharp (which is awaiting a $1 billion investment from Apple) and putting Samsung Mobile Display, LG Display, and others in the rear-view mirror.
Japan Display will bring together the collective brainpower of the three companies and intends to pump a lot of cash into R&D, particularly as it pertains to thinner and higher-res OLEDs.
The group’s plan is to sign all the requisite agreements this fall and finish off the merger in the spring of 2012.