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Kodak vs. Fujifilm: A Tale of Two Film Makers

The Economist has a fascinating piece looking at the similarities and differences between Kodak and Fujifilm, two juggernauts of film photography that took different paths when digital photography came around:

While Kodak suffers, its long-time rival Fujifilm is doing rather well. The two firms have much in common. Both enjoyed lucrative near-monopolies of their home markets: Kodak selling film in America, Fujifilm in Japan. A good deal of the trade friction during the 1990s between America and Japan sprang from Kodak’s desire to keep cheap Japanese film off its patch.

Both firms saw their traditional business rendered obsolete. But whereas Kodak has so far failed to adapt adequately, Fujifilm has transformed itself into a solidly profitable business, with a market capitalisation, even after a rough year, of some $12.6 billion to Kodak’s $220m. Why did these two firms fare so differently?

Last Friday, Kodak filed a lawsuit against Fujifilm alleging that the company had infringed on Kodak’s digital photography patents.

The last Kodak moment? [The Economist]


Image credit: Ammo for 合歡&清境 by 今 ゆっくりと 歩いていこう