It looks like joint ventures continue to be all the rage in the optical drive industry these days, with Lite-On and Philips today announcing the imminent arrival of their new combined effort, joining the likes of Sony-NEC, Hitachi-LG, and Toshiba-Samsung. As Daily Tech points out, this latest development doesn't exactly come as a surprise, with the groundwork for the new tag-team partnership laid almost a year ago. It seems that they've finally gotten everything sorted out, however, with the somewhat awkwardly-named Philips & Lite-On Digital Solutions (or PLDS) set to make its official debut on May 1st. Under the deal, the company will continue to sell optical drives under the Lite-On brand, and continue to provide HP with its self-branded drives. While there's still no word on when we might see the first joint venture between joint ventures, at the rate these things are going, we certainly wouldn't rule it out.