What was only a rumour a few weeks ago has come true. The joint venture between Ericsson and Sony Corporation – Sony Ericcson – has officially ended (pending regulatory approvals). Sony has confirmed today that they will acquire Ericsson’s 50% stake in the company for EUR 1.05 billion in cash ($1,47 billion CDN) to “rapidly integrate smartphones into its broad array of network-connected consumer electronics devices”. The deal has already been approved by both companies is expected to close January 2012. In addition, Sony also gets “five essential patent families relating to wireless handset technology” and rights to a “broad intellectual property (IP) cross-licensing agreement covering all products and services”. There’s no word on the branding of future smartphone, but you can expect the Xperia lineup to continue.
Sir Howard Stringer, Sony’s Chairman, CEO and President said “This acquisition makes sense for Sony and Ericsson, and it will make the difference for consumers, who want to connect with content wherever they are, whenever they want. With a vibrant smartphone business and by gaining access to important strategic IP, notably a broad cross-license agreement, our four- screen strategy is in place. 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.”