September 14, 2009

Hitachi, NEC, Casio Announce Mobile Phone Merger

Japan tech firms Casio, NEC and Hitachi on Monday announced a new mobile phone merger intended to help the three companies gain a larger market share.

At the start of the deal, NEC will control 66 percent of the three-way business plan, with Casio owning 17.34 percent and Hitachi with 16.66 percent, according to AFP.

The three companies are expected to complete the merger in April 2010.

By June 2010, NEC will hold 70.74 percent of the business, with Casio holding 20 percent and Hitachi with 9.26 percent.

Casio and Hitachi have been part of a joint mobile phone partnership since 2004, making phones for KDDI Corp. and Softbank. NEC produces handsets for Japanese carriers NTT Docomo Inc. and Softbank Mobile Corp.

NEC has announced it would cut 20,000 jobs from its workforce. Additionally, Hitachi has said it predicts a loss of $3 billion over the course of this year after posting a record loss of 787.3 billion yen last year.

The mobile phone merger is seen by all three struggling companies as a way to reduce cost of production while sharing technology.

The merger is expected to launch the three companies ahead of Panasonic to take the number two spot in terms of overall share of the Japanese mobile phone market.


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