• Kyodo


Sony Corp. of America and Yahoo Inc., two of the world’s most recognizable names, announced on Tuesday a broad marketing alliance in online business.

The alliance calls for the companies to create a joint Web site and a portal focused on Sony products, promoting Sony’s artistic content across Yahoo’s network of sites, the companies said.

“Yahoo’s unrivaled expertise in Internet communications, customer relationship management, platform scalability and personalization will be instrumental in helping Sony quickly develop a world-class site and seamless customer experience,” said Nobuyuki Idei, chairman of Sony Corp., the parent firm of Sony Corp. of America.

Terry Semel, chairman of Yahoo, said, “This agreement represents a significant commitment of two industry leaders to collaborate on multiple levels and extend consumer value.”

The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the deal.

Under the deal, Sony and Yahoo will develop online marketing programs to promote several movies from Sony Pictures Entertainment as well as looking for ways to integrate music from Sony Music Entertainment, they said.

Sony’s e-commerce product site, SonyStyle.com , will be featured on Yahoo’s shopping site, they said.

Sony downgraded

Moody’s Investors Service Inc. has downgraded its outlook for Sony Corp.’s senior unsecured long-term debt, currently rated Aa3, to negative from stable, it said Wednesday.

“The change reflects Moody’s concern that Sony’s electronics products division will not be able to sustain past good profitability until its game division — another main profit source — starts profit contributions again,” the U.S. credit-rating agency said.

Moody’s noted that Sony’s electronics products division incurred operating losses for the April-June quarter.

, largely due to the recall of defective mobile phones and restructuring costs at its subsidiary Aiwa Co.

“Sony’s audiovisual products, such as TVs and digital still cameras, as well as semiconductors are also suffering from the slowdown of the world consumer electronics market and increasing price competition,” the agency added.

Sony recently revised downward its earnings projections for fiscal 2001 due to a stronger price competition and a fall in demand for consumer electronics.

Sony said it now sees 7.7 trillion yen in group sales and 90 billion yen in group net profits, compared to its March forecast of 8 trillion yen in group sales and 150 billion yen in group net profits.

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