Lite-On and Philips form world's second largest optical drive manufacturing company

This week Lite-On IT Corporation and Royal Philips Electronics announced that the joint venture between the two companies will officially take shape on May 1 of this year. The joint venture between the two companies will focus on the manufacturing and marketing of optical storage drives.

The move between Lite-On and Philips is one that industry analysts have been expecting to happen for about a year now. Last April, Lite-On took over BenQ's optical disc drive manufacturing operations. At the time, Lite-On and BenQ were partners in the optical drives business but the takeover placed Lite-On up to the number two spot in the list of biggest drive manufacturers in the world. According to the release:

PLDS will be effective in Europe from 1st of May 2007. Lite-On IT BV, the European head office of Lite-On IT Corporation, will continue to provide the same service to its customers under the new flag of PLDS. The company will handle sales, marketing, service, finance and logistics of Optical Disc Drives (ODD). PLDS will continue to sell ODD under the brand names Lite-On and HP (under exclusive license from Hewlett-Packard).

Under the new agreement between Lite-On and Philips, the new venture will be called Philips & Lite-On Digital Solutions (PLDS). The European Commission has fully approved of the new venture as of April 2.

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