Sony buys out Ericsson in mobile joint venture

Sony is to spend £920 million to acquire Ericsson’s half of the Sony-Ericsson mobile handset joint venture.

Sony’s chief executive and chairman, Howard Stringer, said that Sony’s "four screen strategy" is now in place with this deal. "We can more rapidly and more widely offer consumers smartphones, laptops, tablets and televisions that seamlessly connect with one another and open up new worlds of online entertainment," Stringer said.

In a statement, Sony said that the deal "provides Sony with a broad IP cross-licensing agreement and ownership of five essential patent families," and that Sony-Ericsson phones would be "integrated into Sony’s broad platform of network-connected consumer electronics products".

Ericsson CEO Hans Vestbeg, meanwhile, said that the company would now "focus on enabling connectivity for all devices, using our R&D and industry leading patent portfolio to realize a truly connected world."

The purchase is seen as a Sony bid to catch up with Apple and Samsung in the mobile phone space. Although Sony-Ericsson’s Experia brand has started to catch up with Apple, Samsung and HTC recently, the company was left behind when touchscreen phones originally took off.

The deal will complete in January 2012.

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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