By Maximilian Clarke

Sony Ericsson is to become a wholly owned subsidiary of the Japanese electronics giant following a €1.05bn cash acquisition.

The transaction will give Sony an opportunity to rapidly integrate smartphones into its broad array of network-connected consumer electronics devices — including tablets, televisions and personal computers — to boost the company’s growth within the lucrative market. The transaction also provides Sony with a broad intellectual property (IP) cross-licensing agreement covering all products and services of Sony as well as ownership of five essential patent families relating to wireless handset technology.

“Ten years ago when we formed the joint venture, thereby combining Sony’s consumer products knowledge with Ericsson’s telecommunication technology expertise, it was a perfect match to drive the development of feature phones,” said Hans Vestberg, President and CEO of Ericsson. “Today we take an equally logical step as Sony acquires our stake in Sony Ericsson and makes it a part of its broad range of consumer devices. We will now enhance our focus on enabling connectivity for all devices, using our R&D and industry leading patent portfolio to realize a truly connected world.”

When Sony Ericsson started its operations on October 1, 2001, it combined the unprofitable handset operations from Ericsson and Sony. Following a successful turnaround the company has become a market leader in the development of feature phones by integrating Sony’s strong consumer products knowledge and Ericsson’s telecommunications technology leadership. The WalkmanTM phone and Cyber-shotTM phone are well known examples.


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