Sony, NEC to form joint optical drive company

— 12:23 PM on February 27, 2006

The Register is reporting that Sony and NEC are to merge their respective optical drive divisions into a single company named Sony NEC Optiarc. The shares will be split 55%/45%, with Sony owning the majority, and Shinichi Yamamura, current deputy president of Sony's Video Business Group, running the new company. This marks an interesting turn in the race to market dominance by the HD-DVD and Blu-ray formats, as while NEC is one of the main proponents of HD-DVD, Sony is a key member of the Blu-ray Disc Association. Let's hope this unlikely alliance paves the way for greater interoperability between the two next-gen disc formats.

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