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Sony, Samsung Near LCD Deal

Seoul, South Korea – Samsung and Sony are reportedly working on a joint venture agreement for LCD screen production.

According to wire reports, the deal would give Sony access to a steady supply of LCD panels for highly demanded computer monitor and flat-panel television categories, and would give Samsung a guaranteed major customer that would help it establish display standards and market share clout.

The two parties were expecting to make a final decision on the venture in the next few days, according to a Reuters report. Negotiations were said to be progressing smoothly.

The project will require a total investment of close to $1.8 billion, although this could change, according to Reuters.

Samsung, the second-ranked manufacturers of LCD panels in the world, plans to invest about $17.1 billion in new LCD production lines by 2010.

The world’s largest manufacturer of LCD panels is LG.Philips LCD, a joint venture between South Korea’s LG Electronics and Dutch group Philips Electronics. LG.Philips LCD also plans to invest $2.6 billion in new flat-screen production.

The cooperative venture would enable Samsung to share benefits and risks with Sony, while setting a standard and securing a stable customer for large-screen panels.