With LCD panels showing up in everything from portable
gaming systems and cell phones to our living room home theaters, it’s no
surprise that the LCD panel market is experiencing a huge boom in growth and
Matsushita, the maker of Panasonic LCD TVs, Hitachi and
Canon have been in talks on an LCD panel deal that could be worth billions of
dollars. DailyTech first reported on
the talks between the three companies last week. More details of the agreement between Canon, Matsushita and Hitachi
are now surfacing.
Canon and Matsushita have each acquired 24.9% of the shares
in Hitachi Displays Co. Ltd, which are scheduled to transfer by March 31, 2008.
This deal will leave Hitachi with a 50.2% stake in Hitachi Displays. The deal
also has Matsushita and Canon deepening their respective involvement in another
joint venture with Hitachi called IPS Alpha Technology Limited.
IPS (In-Plane Switching) technology was unveiled by Hitachi
in 1995 and is a technology that allows for better viewing angles and better
response speeds for colors and half tones. A second phase of the deal between
Canon, Hitachi and Matsushita will involve ownership changes. In the second
phase, Canon will take a majority holding in Hitachi Displays and Matsushita
will take a majority stake in IPS Alpha.
Hitachi and Matsushita were in the news in May of 2007 when
the companies announced they were working together on very large plasma HDTVs
over 80-inches in size. Hitachi previously exited the computer business after its inability to compete
with more established computer makers like Dell and Lenovo.