Sony has announced that it has agreed to purchase the 50 per cent stake in Sony Ericsson which was owned by the Swedish company, Ericsson.
The deal had been rumoured a few weeks ago, and this morning Sony confirmed the acquisition stating that Sony Ericsson is to become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony with Ericsson being paid €1.05 billion for its stake.
The deal also provides Sony with a broad IP cross-licensing agreement and ownership of five essential patent families – a part of the deal which will be crucial in the current smartphone world where lawsuits are as pervasive as apps these days.
“The transaction gives Sony an opportunity to rapidly integrate smartphones into its broad array of network-connected consumer electronics devices – including tablets, televisions and personal computers - for the benefit of consumers and the growth of its business,” a statement by the company said.
The move will be seen as a good one for Sony who should be able to leverage its content and other platforms, such as PlayStation and its new tablets, to bring consumers a more integrated experience.
Announcing its third quarter results a couple of weeks ago, Sony Ericsson said it was going to focus completely on smartphones. The company recorded a small profit for the quarter and revealed that its Xperia range, like the Xperia Arc S below, accounted for up to 80 per cent of its smartphone sales.
“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. This includes Sony’s own acclaimed network services, like the PlayStation Network and Sony Entertainment Network,” said Sir Howard Stringer, Sony’s Chairman, CEO and President.
There are still some questions to be answered regarding the move, such as when, or indeed if, the name will change and how exactly the phones will be integrated with the gaming and tablet divisions.
Sir Stringer will be holding a press conference regarding the acquisition very soon and we’ll be covering it live to let you know what he says.