We are witnessing grand changes in the arena of technology each passing day. While new technologies and products make their way to the market, many older technologies as well as companies are being pushed out of the market. This is the inevitable outcome of the increasing competition in each and every aspect of technology these days. The latest rumors, which are of course not confirmed, on the front of camera manufacture suggest that Sony would soon enter in a partnership with Olympus. This was suggested by Japan’s economic journal Nikkei according to which Sony is considering investing about 50 billion yen in Olympus. Olympus and Sony both have gone through some problematic time during the last couple of years and this move is certainly an effort to overcome the problems.
If this deal actually takes place, Sony would acquire about 10 percent share of Olympus, hence becoming the largest share holder in the company. Other than their partnership on the front of new technologies in digital cameras, the two companies also intend on expanding their business interest in the medical equipment market (Olympus cash cow). Olympus, now, has about 70 percent share in the endoscopes market. On the other hand, Sony has announced to invest about 100 billion yen in this field over the next few years. Besides, the emerging market of compact system cameras has resulted in a decreased demand for DSLRs and point and shoot cameras. Both Sony and Olympus have already released their versions of compact system cameras and interchangeable lenses in the market which have done pretty good. This partnership between the two giants would certainly result in increased progress on the front of compact system cameras. So the two areas of medical equipment and compact system cameras would certainly be an important focus of the new deal.
Other than Sony, rumors about Olympus in negotiations with other major tech companies also exist. For example, before the rumors about Sony and Olympus partnership emerged, there were also rumors suggesting that Olympus is in talks with companies like Panasonic, Fujifilm and Terumo. However, Panasonic denied such rumors since Panasonic itself underwent a net loss of about $10.2 billion during the fiscal year of 2012. Considering this, Panasonic would evidently stay away from any expansion in near future and would instead focus on emerging out of loss.
Olympus has gone through some hard time after the accounting fraud that surfaced last year. The three directors who were allegedly involved in the accounting scandal resigned and grand management overhauling followed in the upcoming months. The company has also been going through lot of restructuring over the last few months and efforts to negotiate with other companies is just another step. In the medium-range plan that Olympus recently released, the company intends on investing more in mirrorless cameras and less in low end compact cameras and DSLRs. Whether the partnership between Olympus and Sony would actually benefit the two companies or not would only be clear after it materializes and is put into effect.