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Sony, Panasonic to Announce OLED Tie-Up Next Week, Officials Say

Sony, Panasonic to Announce OLED Tie-Up Next Week, Officials Say
Vials of chemicals for organic light-emitting diode (OLED) production are seen under ultraviolet light at the Merck KGaA research center in Darmstadt, near Frankfurt, Germany. OLED televisions are as thin as 4 millimeters (0.16 inches) and produce sharper images than current liquid-crystal-display models. Photographer: Hannelore Foerster/Bloomberg

Sony Corp. and Panasonic Corp., Japan’s biggest makers of TVs, may announce an agreement next week to cooperate in making sets that use new organic light-emitting diode displays, company officials said.

The companies may issue a statement before their shareholder meetings June 27, the officials said, asking not to be identified because the plan is private.

The partnership would be the first between the main TV operations at the two companies, which are losing money as the strengthened yen erodes overseas earnings and as competition from South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Electronics Inc. intensifies. The two Korean companies have said they will introduce OLED models by the end of the year.

The Nikkei newspaper reported the Sony-Panasonic agreement earlier today, without saying where it got the information. Spokesmen at both companies declined to comment.

Sony rose as much as 4.3 percent to 1,148 yen and traded at 1,144 yen as of 11:10 a.m. in Tokyo. Panasonic climbed 1.3 percent.

OLED televisions are as thin as 4 millimeters (0.16 inches) and produce sharper images than current liquid-crystal-display models. Shipments of OLED TVs may grow to 2.1 million sets in 2015 from 34,000 in 2012, according to Englewood, Colorado-based IHS Inc.’s iSuppli.

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