NEC Talking 3-Way Tie-up
NEC and Matsushita (Panasonic) are in talks to extend their co-operation in the mobile phone sector in an effort to ensure survival in the overcrowded Japanese market, NEC’s president said on Monday. The expanded collaboration would focus on handset manufacturing and could include the joint procurement of components and further collaboration in research and development. The consolidation strategy was mentioned by NEC’s incoming president, Kaoru Yano, in March.
The two groups already co-operate in 3G technology research. According to reports, three-way talks among NEC, Matsushita and Texas Instruments Inc. about cellphone cooperation are in their final stage.
“We have agreed with Matsushita to start detailed talks on furthering our relationship. We are not ruling out any options [about what form that co-operation will take]” Kaoru Yano, NEC president said on Monday. “We have to take advantage of economies of scale, otherwise we cannot survive”, he said.
Mr Yano ruled out a straightforward integration of the two wireless businesses of the groups. “We will not integrate management [of the mobile phones businesses],” he said, explaining that “this is a very important business so neither company wants to give it up.”
Mr Yano suggested co-operation could include joint procurement of components and deeper collaboration in R&D. Continue
Also via Reuters:
Yano said the three-way talks among NEC, Matsushita and Texas Instruments Inc. about cellphone cooperation are in their final stage. Matsushita and NEC said in April they were talking with Texas Instruments, the top cellphone chip supplier, over possible cooperation in 3G mobile phones. A source close to the talks had said the three firms aimed to set up a joint venture to develop microchips and software used in 3G mobile phones to cut costs and offer competitively priced cellphones.