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Seiko Epson Corp. will transfer some of its business assets for small and medium-size thin-film transistor liquid crystal displays to Sony Corp., the two firms said Tuesday.

The agreement puts an end to negotiations that started in March, when Seiko Epson said it was considering transferring part of its LCD assets to Sony because demand was declining for its displays for mobile phones and other electronic devices amid the global economic slump.

The transfer will take place in two stages. First, Seiko Epson’s LCD unit, Epson Imaging Devices Corp., will transfer its TFT-LCD sales function to the Sony group within this year.

Manufacturing-related assets, including equipment, patents and employees involved in the LCD business, will be transferred to Sony Mobile Display Corp. on April 1, the two firms said.

“The transfer of these business assets will enable Sony to fully utilize Epson Imaging and other Epson group capabilities in the field of small and medium-size TFT LCD sales, technology and product design and amorphous silicon TFT LCD production,” the firms said in a joint statement.

“By producing a wider range of technically advanced and cost-effective products, and offering comprehensive small and medium-size TFT LCD product lineups, the Sony group expects to enhance its customer relationships and strengthen the competitiveness of its small and medium-size TFT LCD business,” they said.

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