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Monday, February 14, 2005
Hitachi, Panasonic Team to Expand Plasma TV Business

Tokyo-based Hitachi Ltd. and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co.?s Panasonic subsidiary today said they would join forces to develop and expand the plasma TV market.

The two companies are to collaborate on R&D, production, marketing and intellectual property activities under an agreement aimed at furthering development of color plasma display (PDP) technologies for the growth of the plasma TV market on a global scale.

For the R&D portion of the joint work, in order to increase cost competitiveness by, for example, establishing standards for PDP module components, the companies said they would explore whether they can work in liaison with component manufacturers.

Synergism between the companies' businesses, such as product performance enhancement and cost reduction, are to be sought through mutual utilization of the best components of the Hitachi and Panasonic groups. Efforts are to be made to further strengthen the technological capability of the companies through the exchange of up-to-date PDP news and information.

In the joint production work, standardization of next-generation production facilities and mutual benchmarking of production processes are to be explored with an eye to boosting PDP production capacity and efficiency.

For the joint intellectual property piece, in view of the increasingly important role of patents in expanding the PDP business, Hitachi said it would consider setting up a company to manage its PDP patents. Panasonic also said it would consider investment into such company, aimed at allowing a continuing and stable cross-licensing relationship between the companies.

Hitachi and Panasonic have partnered in a broad range of endeavors, most notably in the consumer products sector.

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