Toshiba announced yesterday that they are buying out Panasonic’s 40% interest in “Toshiba Matsushita Display Technology Co., Ltd. (TMD), a joint venture that develops, manufactures and sells liquid crystal displays (LCDs) and organic light emitting displays (OLEDs),” according to a company press release. The venture will become a Toshiba subsidiary, to be renamed “Toshiba Mobile Display Co., Ltd.” TMD has about 2,700 employees, and focuses on the small and medium displays used in cell phones and other mobile devices. According to the press release, it “aims to establish OLEDs as an engine for growth and to enhance its display business in the medium- to long-term.”
Weak demand and falling prices have made all aspects of the LCD panel business harder, and this is just one more case of industry consolidation. Expect to see more manufacturers merge, sell off, or just fold as the fight for the remaining market share gets harder.