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Sony Corp. is set to begin formal talks to buy a chip plant from Renesas Electronics Corp. to increase production of smartphone image sensors, sources said.

Sony plans to begin due diligence next week, and the companies may not reach a final agreement, the sources said, asking not to be identified because the discussions are private. The company is increasing output of the sensors, which help phones take high-quality photos, as companies such as Apple Inc. buy Sony’s technology for use in their own devices.

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