Following Sony's announcement back in August that it plans to restructure its TV division after eight years of losses, rumors are now surfacing that it might be looking to withdraw from S-LCD, its joint LCD manufacturing venture with Samsung. While there's no official word from the company, Reuters has reported two views of Sony's position drawn from industry sources. The first suggests that Sony may be looking to dissolve its share quickly, but is yet to agree terms or timing with Samsung, while the second suggests that these reports are "distorted" and that Sony is simply seeking to negotiate a higher return on its investment. The former move would see Sony outsource panel manufacturing for its Bravia lines.
This isn't the first we've seen of Sony showing discomfort with the partnership. Back in April the two companies reduced their joint investment in S-LCD by $555 million, and while Samsung reinvested in new technology, Sony cited the need to offset the losses made in TVs. The rumors also come in the same week that Sony announced plans to buy out Ericsson's stake in their successful mobile joint-venture, again driven by a desire to focus on more profitable lines.
Update: Commenting on the rumor, Sony released a statement saying it "made no announcement in this regard and has no comment."