Verizon and Redbox-owner Coinstar on Monday announced a new joint venture in which the two companies will offer a new streaming video service. The joint venture was originally called “Project Zoetrope” and initial details began to surface in December of last year. It’s still unclear what the joint venture will be called or what exactly each company’s role will be, however Verizon said that the companies will begin to offer a “video on demand streaming and download service” that will no doubt compete directly with services such as Netflix and Vudu. Verizon’s press release follows below. More →
Samsung and Corning — best known for its Gorilla Glass products — announced a new joint venture this week that will manufacture specialty glass substrates for OLED displays. The joint venture will be based in South Korea and will combine Samsung’s OLED display technology with Corning’s ultra tough Lotus Glass substrate. The new displays will be utilized in mobile devices as well as larger products, such as televisions, and will be used in Samsung products and sold to other South Korean manufacturers. “Corning and Samsung have a long and successful partnership in the display industry, dating back nearly 40 years to the early days of television,” Corning chairman, President and CEO Wendell P. Weeks said. “The strength of our business relationship is built on Corning’s ability to develop and make high-technology glass with the key attributes that enable Samsung’s next-generation displays.” Samsung’s full press release follows after the break. More →
NTT DoCoMo, Samsung, Fujitsu, Fujitsu Semiconductor, NEC and Panasonic announced plans on Tuesday to establish a joint venture in which the firms hope to work together to create LTE and LTE Advanced products. The fabless JV will specifically focus on the development of “feature-rich, small-size, low-power-consumption semiconductor products equipped with modem functionality” for LTE and LTE Advanced networks. Products developed by the companies will be sold globally. NTT DoCoMo will invest $5.8 million in the joint venture but it is unclear how much of an ownership stake it will have, or how much the other five companies plan to invest. They hope to have the partnership fully established by March of next year. NTT DoCoMo’s press release follows after the break. More →
AT&T is reportedly considering a joint venture with T-Mobile USA parent company Deutsche Telekom instead of buying T-Mobile USA outright. Sources speaking to The Wall Street Journal said the plans are far from final, but such a deal could be looked at more closely now that AT&T is facing a number of roadblocks with its planned merger. AT&T recently withdrew its application from the FCC to acquire T-Mobile USA; the carrier will instead focus on a lawsuit brought against the merger by the Department of Justice, which is expected to begin in February. The FCC released a 109-page document that suggested it was not in favor of AT&T purchasing T-Mobile for a number of reasons, including an apparent failure on AT&T’s part to convince the FCC its T-Mobile USA acquisition would create new jobs.
Facebook and Google are in separate talks to enter joint ventures with Skype, Reuters reported on Thursday. Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg has also reportedly been in clandestine meetings discussing an all-out purchase of the VoIP service. Skype’s IPO, which is expected to occur later this year, could be worth $1 billion, however, deals with Facebook or Google could bring in as much as $3-$4 billion, Reuters said. Skype 5.0 launched in October of this year and added tight Facebook integration, but the social network has yet to include native video calling into its website or mobile applications. Google could benefit from Skype’s mobile technology to build out its Android video-chat feature, too, which just launched late last month. Neither company has offered a comment on the matter. More →
This one definitely falls into the unconfirmed rumors category for the time being, but a German magazine is reporting Ericsson has had enough of the consumer cell phone game. According to the report, Ericsson is looking to dump its stake in the company’s joint venture with Sony, Sony Ericsson, and stick to what it does best — infrastructure, back end network components and the like. The magazine also states that Sony may be toying with the idea of picking up Ericsson’s share of the JV and controlling 100 percent of the company. We’re not sure how the struggling Japanese manufacturer plans to scrape up enough cash for a deal like this but where there’s a will (and an electronics empire) there’s a way. It will definitely be interesting to see how this one plays out as it would certainly be the end of an era. An Ericsson rep declined to comment on the story.