Sharp Ends Copier Business Cooperation with Samsung

As revealed by The Japan Times, Sharp Corporation has suspended discussions with South Korea’s Samsung Electronics over their cooperative efforts in the copier business. The move comes out of concern that major technology would fall into the hands of Sharp’s South Korean-based rival.

According to the article, Sharp received a ¥10.38-billion investment from Samsung in March under a business and capital collaboration agreement, while the company was striving to strengthen its financial backing. Sales of liquid crystal display panels increased after Sharp started to supply Samsung. Consequently, Sharp reported a consolidated operating profit of ¥3 billion in the April-June quarter of 2013.

The Japan Times noted that a large share of the global copier market is held in the hands of Japanese manufacturers: Canon, Ricoh, Konica Minolta, and Sharp; and U.S.-based Xerox. These companies account for approximately 80% of the global market for mainstream copiers capable of A3 printing. Sharp ranks 5th in global shipments of A3 copiers.

Further, the publication said despite the suspension of talks over copier business cooperation, Sharp will continue talks with Samsung over their planned cooperation in white goods. Also, The Japan Times predicted there may be a possibility of supplying household appliances, like refrigerators and washing machines, to Samsung.

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