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Pioneer, Matsushita Formalize PDP Plans

Tokyo — Pioneer and Matsushita Electric Industrial (Panasonic) revealed at a press conference here Thursday that they have reached a basic agreement on a comprehensive partnership for the development and production of plasma display panels, according to a Nikkei Business Daily report.

Details of the agreement are to be determined in an official agreement expected next month, but the companies said they will combine their expertise to develop next-generation plasma display panels, the report said.

Matsushita will manufacture the jointly developed panels for both companies in time for both to begin selling televisions using the component parts by the fall of 2009.

According to the report, the deal calls for Matsushita taking on all of Pioneer’s approximately 200 PDP engineers beginning in June to help accelerate development of next-generation PDPs, while enabling Pioneer to reduce costs.

Matsushita executives said the forthcoming plasma TVs will make up the core of their higher-end large-screen flat-panel TVs.