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Friday, January 21, 2005
Fujitsu mulls scaling back plasma-display panel business


Fujitsu is considering drastically downsizing its involvement in, or even withdrawing from, the plasma-display panel business that it pioneered globally more than 30 years ago, a report said.

Fujitsu has entered into talks with Hitachi to sell it a major portion or all of its stake in their 50-50 joint venture, Fujitsu Hitachi Plasma Display , the Asahi Shimbun newspaper said without citing sources.

Demand for plasma-display panels is expected to grow but Fujitsu is constantly required to make huge investments in cutting-edge technologies to survive amid global competition, the mass-circulation daily said.

Fujitsu started developing the panels in 1968 and succeeded in making a large color panel in 1995 for the first time in the world.

The group plans to also transfer the basic patents it holds on the panels to Hitachi, which positions the product as the crucial component for flat-screen television sets, the paper said.

A Fujitsu spokeswoman said the company had made no decisions about its plasma-display panel operations.

"We are always having talks with Hitachi as the business partner (in the venture), but we cannot comment on something that has not been formally decided," she said.


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