Matsushita, Hitachi in talks for new flat TV panel: report

Mumbai: Matsushita Electric Industrial Co, the world's biggest maker of plasma TVs, is in discussions with another Japanese conglomerate, Hitachi Ltd, to develop an a revolutionary new flat TV panel that could reshape the industry, reports quoting sources close to the development said.

The deal would allow Matsushita, the maker of the Panasonic brand, to move aggressively into LCD market while allowing troubled Hitachi to exit the business or scale down its involvement, the Nikkei business daily reported.

Matsushita plans to invest some 300 billion yen ($2.7 billion) in a new factory through the venture, called IPS Alpha Technology Ltd and also take control of a liquid crystal display (LCD) venture it has with Hitachi and Toshiba Corp, the report said.

Matsushita's joint venture with digital camera maker Canon Inc, meanwhile, is planning to develop organic light-emitting diode (OLED) panels, which are seen as a next-generation display technology. The joint venture would also seek to buy stakes in Hitachi Displays Ltd.

LCD market leader Sharp Corporation is spending over $3 billion to build the world's biggest LCD plant while Sony Corp and partner Samsung Electronics Co, are ramping up operations at their South Korea facility.

Hitachi, which makes a range of products from nuclear reactors to hard drives, has been hurt by losses in its flat TV business.