Sharp and Pioneer have announced that they plan to merge their individual optical discs businesses into a single joint venture this October. Originally announced as part of Pioneer’s restructuring plan, the joint venture will allow the two companies to consolidate their technology in order to improve their products.

The move will benefit both companies as they fight to gain a leading position in the growing Blu-ray market. To date, the two companies have failed to maintain Blu-ray Disc player sales equivalent to leading rivals Sony, Samsung, and Panasonic, and they are hopeful that a joint venture will allow them to be more competitive.

Sharp is the largest shareholder of Pioneer stock at 14%.

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