Sony is reportedly planning to close Sony Optiarc, a wholly-owned subsidiary responsible for the production of optical disc drives. Optiarc, originally a joint venture with NEC before Sony bought the company out in 2008, will cease operations by March 2013, according to Japanese newspapers The Asahi Shimbun and The Japan Times. Despite a robust 15-percent marketshare, Optiarc has been running at a loss due to "fierce competition" from overseas driving the price of optical drives down to unsustainable (for Sony, at least) levels.
In the face of huge losses, Sony has been restructuring under the leadership of recently-appointed CEO Kazuo Hirai, and plans to shed around 10,000 jobs. The closure of Optiarc will result in around 400 employees being let go, many through an early retirement program.