Sony Looking to Buy Ericsson Out of Joint Venture
Sony is near to reaching a deal that would let it buy Ericsson's stake in the two companies' cell phone joint venture, reports the Wall Street Journal. According to sources familiar with Sony's plans, the company wants to fully control the cell phone and smartphone business so it can more fully integrate those products with its computer, tablet, media player, and other consumer electronics businesses. Sony Ericsson was created by the two companies in 2001 and is currently the world's sixth-largest maker of cell phones. The Journal said that the talks between Sony and Ericsson have been on-again / off-again for years, are still tenuous, and could fall apart at any time. The Journal believes Ericsson's stake in the joint venture is valued between $1.3 billion and $1.7 billion, though it is not clear what Sony would pay to Ericsson to regain full control over the company. Sony wants to be able to more effectively compete against companies such as Apple and Samsung.