Sony, Toshiba, Hitachi to merge small display operations

TOKYO (Reuters) - Sony Corp, Toshiba Corp and Hitachi Ltd said on Wednesday they will merge their liquid-crystal display operations using government-backed funding, to better compete with low-cost panels from South Korea and Taiwan.

The merger will create the world's largest maker of small panels used in smartphones and tablet PCs, leapfrogging global leaders Sharp Corp and Samsung Electronics.

(Reporting by Mayumi Negishi and Isabel Reynolds, graphic by Christine Chan)