Sony and Sharp have announced the end of their LCD joint venture, a partnership that was originally formed in 2009. Back then, Sony chipped in 10 billion yen ($126 million) towards Sharp Display Products Corporation and gained a seven percent stake in the company. The investment hasn't fared well in an increasingly tumultuous TV market, and the writing on the wall came in March when Sony abandoned any further financing towards the collaboration. That followed news that Foxconn would be entering the mix to the tune of ¥67 billion ($809.1 million), earning it a 50-percent stake in SDP. Sony will be selling its shares back to the company and will be granted a full refund of its original investment. Despite the split, Sony believes the news won't have any material impact on the current fiscal year — during which it hopes to march back toward profitability.
We'll have to see if recent and arguably drastic efforts like enforced minimum pricing turn around Sony's fortunes as the company hopes to revitalize itself under Kaz Hirai's "One Sony" strategy. That's not to say Sony is opposed to forming alliances going forward: there's talk of a potential OLED partnership with Panasonic even as the unsuccessful venture with Sharp comes to a close.