Hitachi, Panasonic Tighten Plasma Bond
Hitachi and Panasonic parent Matsushita Electric Industrial Company agreed to “strengthen their partnership” in the plasma TV business. The companies will supply each other with ultra-large plasma display panels.
The partnership kicked off in February 2005, when Hitachi and Panasonic forged a “wide-ranging” plamsa TV partnership in the plasma TV business that covered research and development, production, marketing, and intellectual property. The pair have a joint investment in Hitachi Plasma Patent Licensing Company, which was established last July to “form a stable licensing arrangement between Hitachi and Panasonic and manage their joint developments.” This month’s “strengthening” deepens the companies’ cooperation to include “the cross-supply of 103-inch and 85-inch plasma panels,” stated a release.
Hitachi and Panasonic see a booming flat-panel market that is ever more hungry for larger and larger panels. Given that, they see a need for “an even higher level of business efficiency,” with provision of “more comprehensive” lineups while “drastically cutting costs and improving development efficiency.”
Under the agreement, Panasonic will begin to supply Hitachi with 103-inch plasma panels in fiscal 2007, while Hitachi will begin to supply Panasonic with 85-inch plasma panels in fiscal 2008.