NEC, Casio, Hitachi agree to merge handset operations

A trio of Japanese electronics companies agreed to merge their handset operations weeks after rumors first surfaced that they would do so. NEC said it would split off its handset business and merge it with a joint handset venture between Casio and Hitachi. The move will create Japan's second largest handset maker by market share, trailing only Sharp. The merger will take place in April 2010, and will leave NEC with a 70.7 percent stake; Casio will hold a 20 percent stake and Hitachi will have a 9.3 percent stake. Article