Joint phone R&D

Matsushita and NEC are to set up a joint mobile-phone R&D venture to consolidate software development. Both have been downsizing their mobile handset operations; the two will remain rivals in marketing their own -brand handsets, but the joint operation aims to reduce the costs of playing in the market. Other handset makers are welcome to join in; for now, the new operation will be set up in early October in Yokohama with about 140 employees and capitalised at Yen 100m.