Avid and Sony hit hard by tough economy

Avid Technology, a maker of professional audio and video editing software, is laying off 410 full-time employees — 15 percent of its entire workforce — and dismissing another 90 contract workers.

The major restructuring of Avid’s business also includes sales of Avid’s Pinnacle PCTV product line to Hauppauge Digital for an undisclosed amount, and Softimage 3-D game animation software business to Autodesk for $35 million.

Among Avid’s remaining brand names are Avid video editing, Digidesign and M-Audio pro audio software and hardware, Sibelius music notation software, and Sundance Digital automation.

Sony reported a 72 percent drop in profit last week in the most recent quarter. The company was hurt by a stronger yen and the global economic slowdown.

Sony said sales of its Bravia line of flat-panel televisions and digital cameras fell faster than expected in October, suggesting a deepening slump in the second half of the fiscal year.

Many analysts say share prices of top Japanese companies have fallen so far as to defy reason. Not only Sony but many of Japan’s best-known brands — including Panasonic — have had their market value drop below their so-called book value, the total worth of their buildings, equipment and other physical assets.