Sony, Panasonic to announce OLED tie-up next week: sources

TOKYO Thu Jun 21, 2012 8:01pm EDT

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TOKYO (Reuters) - Rival Japanese television makers Sony Corp (6758.T) and Panasonic Corp (6752.T) will next week announce an agreement to cooperate in developing ways to mass produce next generation organic light emitting diode (OLED) televisions, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters Friday.

The two companies are in talks to develop the technology to build the screens at more affordable prices as they look to counter competition from South Korea's Samsung Electronics (005930.KS) and LG Electronics (066570.KS).

Japanese firms that dominated the global TV market in the 1980s and 1990s have been battered by their aggressive Korean rivals, along with weak demand for the TVs. By combining their research and development resources the firms are hoping to regain ground from their foreign rivals.

While Sony is developing technology to fabricate screens using sprays, Panasonic is using inkjet printer technology to make prototype OLED screens, and has invested 30 billion yen ($374 million) to set up a test production line at a plant in Japan, the Nikkei business daily reported earlier.

($1 = 80.2750 Japanese yen)

(Reporting by Reiji Murai; Writing by Tim Kelly; Editing by Joseph Radford)

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