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Will TV makers consolidate during downturn?

Darren Murph

It's a question that's always asked during downturns, but we actually believe there's a remote possibility of it happening this go 'round. A recent Wall Street Journal report suggests that industry experts anticipate only the top-tier brands -- Sony, Samsung, Panasonic, Sharp, LG and Toshiba, for example -- making it through the current economic slowdown without consolidation. They also suggest that everyone else could be "forced to either pull out of the TV business or join forces with a surviving entity." Quite frankly, we feel that's probably a bit extreme, as we can't imagine names like Insignia and VIZIO vanishing (or crazier still, merging) when it's price that matters most. Still, we can appreciate that the big firms could likely outlast the others in terms of coping with weak sales, but we still refuse to believe that Westingneer is even close to becoming a reality.

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