According to The Hollywood Reporter, in what observers consider an unlikely alliance, Sony Corp. and NEC Electronics Corp. have agreed to establish a joint venture that will plan, design, manufacture and market DVD and CD drives.

The two companies are bitter rivals in the battle for a next-generation, high-definition optical disc standard. Sony is the primary developer of the Blu-ray Disc, which is supported by five of the six major studios as well as the majority of consumer electronics manufacturers and computer firms.