MANHASSET, N.Y. European Union regulators have given clearance to Japan-based Sony and NEC to set up an optical disk drive joint venture, according to an Associated Press report.
The two Japanese electronics companies reportedly want the new venture to start making DVD drives and CD drives for use in PCs and other electronics devices from April 1.
According to the report, the European Commission said the deal would not significantly change competition in optical disk-drives. The venture would face strong rivals such as Hitachi LG, Toshiba Samsung, Pioneer, Panasonic and others.
Both Sony and NEC are slated to transfer their optical disk drive businesses to the joint venture.
Under a memorandum of understanding signed in November, the JV would be 55-percent owned by Sony and the remaining 45 percent by NEC.
Where both companies differ is DVD format. Sony is promoting the Blu-ray Disc format, while NEC is promoting HD-DVD.