It would seem that Sony may be ready to say “so long” to its long time partner Ericsson.
According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Sony is in talks to buy out Ericsson’s 50 percent stake in the Sony Ericsson brand that the two companies jointly founded in 2001. Currently the company is the sixth largest cell phone manufacturer in the market, but Sony feels it can go further than that if it completely folds the project into their system and then can integrate with their existing tablets, mobile gaming and computer divisions.
Apparently this has become a higher priority to Sony as of late as they have seen the success companies such as Apple and Samsung are enjoying by having tight integration across all of their various product lines.
The deal is somewhat complicated because apparently Sony would also like to purchase Ericsson’s portfolio of patents, something that has become the mobile world’s version of gold as of late with all of the lawsuits flying around. Current estimates put the entire value on the deal for Sony to buy out Ericsson at somewhere between $1.3 and $1.7 billion.
Should the deal go through, though some people close to the matter say it could fall apart at any time, it would make sense for both corporate entities. Ericsson is a company with very little to do with the consumer side of the mobile industry outside of this one joint venture, and Sony is looking to move all mobile handset development in house. While the joint venture made sense in the early days of the mobile industry, it has really held both companies back from their true potential in the recent years. Add in the fact that the Japanese Yen is stronger than most people have ever seen it, and it makes complete sense why this would be the perfect time for the deal to happen as Ericsson’s value is based on the Euro.
Neither company is commenting on the potential deal at this time.
Do you think Sony would be better off braving the mobile market on its own?
[via The Wall Street Journal]