Sony announced on Thursday that it is acquiring Ericsson’s half of the ten-year-long Sony Ericsson partnership for €1.05 billion (approximately $1.5 billion USD) in cash. The deal is expected to be finalized by January 2012 assuming, of course, that it passes regulatory approval.
Sony and Ericsson formed the partnership in October 2001, combining “Sony’s consumer products knowledge with Ericsson’s telecommunication technology expertise.” The joint venture took off, turning both formerly unprofitable phone divisions into a successful partnership.
With Sony in full control of Sony Ericsson, the Japanese company will be able to focus on better integrating its smartphones with other Sony products. Take, for example, the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, also known as the “PlayStation phone.” Could this deal bring about an even better smartphone for gamers?
Sony President and CEO Sir Howard Stringer also revealed the company is moving away from feature phones. Android is currently the platform of choice, but Sony might be open to using another OS as well. Thursday’s deal also gives Sony a ”broad IP cross-licensing agreement and ownership of five essential [Ericsson] patent families.”