Japan's Sharp Corp will begin supplying light-emitting diode backlights for LCD televisions to Sony Corp, expanding their alliance in LCD panels, the Nikkei business daily said on Tuesday.

The two will also jointly develop next-generation backlights, it said, without citing sources.

Sharp and Sony began operations of a joint LCD panel production facility in Sakai, western Japan, in October, and have been seeking ways to strengthen their alliance.

Sharp will begin supplying Sony with LED backlights, which make up roughly 20 percent of the cost of an LCD TV, in December, the paper said.

(Reporting by Mayumi Negishi)