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Samsung Buys Sony's Stake In LCD Joint Venture 38

First time accepted submitter rtoz writes "Samsung Electronics has decided to buy out Sony's entire stake in their Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) joint venture. S-LCD Samsung will pay Sony 1.08 trillion won ($939m; £600m) in cash for Sony's entire stake (50% – 1 shares) in S-LCD Corp., a venture formed in 2004 to make TV panels. After acquisition, Samsung Electronics' stake in S-LCD will be 100%. The move comes as Sony has been restructuring its TV business, which has been making a loss for the past seven years."
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Samsung Buys Sony's Stake In LCD Joint Venture

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  • by theskipper ( 461997 ) on Monday December 26, 2011 @11:23AM (#38494064)

    This news, coupled with the fact that Samsung controls 95% of the rapidly accelerating AMOLED panel market, puts them in a dominant position for display panels in general.

    For years Samsung played the "ant" by investing heavily into new production plants for AMOLED when the technology was uncertain. While LG, AUO and Sony acted as the "grasshopper", flip-flopping in their commitment to future investment (documented on oled-info.com back to 2006).

    Now AMOLED is in a huge number of phones and actual production TVs will be appearing at the upcoming CES (with OLED lighting in a couple years). So Samsung can retrofit the dying, low-margin LCD business by integrating hybrid OLED backlit modules. That will provide competition to LG's upcoming "fake" OLED TV (OLED backlit only), while Samsung's "true" OLED TV (actual OLED pixels) business will have little competition when they release it.

    Lastly, not only did Samsung have the foresight to invest billions in capex for the replacement technology, they also locked up a multi year (non-exclusive) contract with the fundamental IP and materials provider for PHOLED (Universal Display Corp). LG and AUO are still twiddling their thumbs with 3-6 month contracts with UDC. This extends to the general lighting market too, as PHOLED will be required because of efficiency.

    Is it a good thing for one company too become so powerful in a single segment? Never. But when the competition is weak and near-sighted, this is inevitable outcome. Jmho.

  • Trillion? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 26, 2011 @12:50PM (#38494724)

    Either the exchange rate between British pounds and US dollars has gone up a couple orders of magnitude overnight or someone needs to double check what name is used for 1000 x 1 million. Two 9 figure numbers don't add up to a 13 figure number, ever. Editors, where were you on that one?

The greatest productive force is human selfishness. -- Robert Heinlein