Mitsubishi, Asahi Glass to sell shares in LCD joint ventureWe consumers love the falling prices on our display devices. The fierce competition for your dollars takes its toll on manufacturers, however. And the plummeting prices on LCDs makes for a particularly competitive and price-sensitive market. The latest victim is Optrex, the joint venture between Mitsubishi Electric (40%) and Asahi Glass (60%). The two companies announced they will be selling the more than 10-year old venture to Japan Industrial Partners, Inc. Optrex produces small and midsize LCDs, but only has about 1% of the market and posted a 1.7 billion yen loss for FY 2006. Lest you think this sale is a good thing for the partners, they are looking at a red ink figure of 6.8 billion yen (approximately $60M) from the sale. Painful as that sounds, it's just the kind of hurt that spurs progress in a free-market economy.

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