Friday, August 28, 2009

Japanese cos NEC, Hitachi, Casio to merge for mobile operations

Japan's NEC Corp, Hitachi Ltd and Casio Computer Co are in talks to merge their struggling mobile phone manufacturing operations to create Japan's No 2 handset maker, the Yomiuri daily reported on Friday.

Loss-making NEC could hive off its mobile operations and merge it with an existing joint venture between Hitachi and Casio to together develop handsets, or the three could merge their mobile phone production operations, the newspaper said without citing sources.

NEC would be likely to hold a majority of the new firm, it said. The three are struggling in Japan's saturated cellphone market and mounting development costs, said to be about 10 billion yen ($107 million) per handset. In the year ended in March, Sharp Corp controlled over one-fifth of Japan's handset market, followed by Panasonic Corp.

Agencies

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