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Fujitsu, Toshiba to merge cell phone ops

Japan's top IT services firm Fujitsu Ltd and Toshiba Corp, the country's biggest chipmaker, are in final stages of talks toward merging their cellular phone businesses, the Nikkei business daily reported.

Fujitsu is expected to hold a majority stake in the joint venture, expected to be set up later this year, and aimed at lowering costs and enhancing competitiveness, the paper said.

The likely new combine will create the second-largest Japanese cell phone maker after the industry leader Sharp Corp, the paper said.

Fujitsu manufactures handsets for Japan's biggest mobile phone operator NTT DoCoMo Inc, while Toshiba mainly supplies cell phones to KDDI Corp, Japan's No.2 telecoms firm, Nikkei said. (Reuters)