Sony takes over Sony Ericsson for £918m

In a deal worth £918m, Sony will take sole control of the Sony Ericsson mobile phone business.

Sony has bought Ericsson's half of the Sony Ericsson partnership. In a deal worth £918m, the Japanese giant will take sole control of the mobile phone business.

Japanese mega-corporation Sony currently owns half the business, and the other half is owned by Swedish telecoms company Ericsson. The two created the joint venture in 2001.

Sony gets to keep the phone business and various patents, and in return Ericsson gets a whopping €1.05bn (£918.1m).

Sony wants to go it alone to strengthen its "four-screen strategy", making phones, tablets, laptops and TVs and providing content for them too, through the PlayStation network, Sony Entertainment Network and film Studio Sony Pictures.

Sony will also keep five batches of wireless technology patents, which is important in the current climate of patent horse-trading. Patents are like copyright for technology, and are very valuable to the companies that hold them either as a method of blocking rivals or getting money from them.

Apple and Samsung are currently locked in legal battle over patents, while Google recently bought Motorola to grab Moto's patent portfolio and strengthen its position should Apple aim a legal challenge at Android. Meanwhile, Microsoft gets paid a cut from the sale of Android devices simply because of the patents it holds.

Sony Ericsson is not the force it once was in the mobile phone world, and hasn't made the most of the strong Walkman and Cyber-shot brands since the iPhone came along . We were disappointed with the hotly tipped 'PlayStation phone', the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play , but we did like the Xperia Arc S and Xperia Ray .

Good move for Sony? Have you been impressed by recent Sony Ericsson phones, or does it need to make some changes? Tell us your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.

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About the author

Rich Trenholm is a senior editor at CNET where he covers everything from phones to bionic implants. Based in London since 2007, he has travelled the world seeking out the latest and best consumer technology for your enjoyment.

 

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