Philips has announced it will stop making flatscreen TVs for the U.S. and Canadian markets.

Instead, it will license its name to Japanese Electronics company Funai, but will have nothing to do with the manufacture of the televisions.

This has lead to speculation that the company will eventually also withdraw from the flatscreen business in Europe as well.

The TV market is hugely competitive - as evidenced by issue after issue of What Hi-Fi? Sound And Vision - and this news comes after a period of time in which Philips has struggled to compete with the likes of Panasonic, Sony and Samsung.

The Dutch company is seeking to improve lagging profits by dispensing with badly-performing parts of the business. And the company's TV arm has lost money in the first quarter of 2008 – in Europe as well as America.

Pierre-Jean Sivignon, Philips' chief financial officer, described the move as a 'decisive action in what is really the last low-margin business of Philips... For us, we are basically eliminating a business which has been historically losing us money.'

Last month we reported the news that Pioneer will stop manufacturing the plasma panels for its Kuro range - although Pioneer will be buying in panels and continuing to manufacture TVs.

The Philips news is further evidence of the struggle TV manufacturers are having, to try and keep their TV businesses profitable in a market of fast-improving products and even faster-tumbling prices.

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