Sony takes control of Sony Ericsson

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>> Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sony has agreed to buy Ericsson's half of the pair's mobile phone joint venture in a deal that includes a 1.1 billion euro cash payment.

“We can more rapidly and more widely offer consumers smartphones, laptops, tablets and televisions that seamlessly connect with one another and open up new worlds of online entertainment,” Sony chief executive Sir Howard Stringer said in a statement.

In a statement announcing the transaction, Sony said its Xperia range, which runs on Google's Android software, now accounts for 80% of its sales.

Sony-Ericsson was formed in 2001 as a 50-50 joint venture in 2001.

The logic behind the hook-up was that Sony's consumer electronics savvy could be mated with Ericsson's telecommunications part.

But the whole has proved less than the sum of the parts.

A recent Gartner market survey said Sony Ericsson accounted for 1.7% of all global mobile phone sales between April and June, compared to 3% share the previous year.

Analysts say the Sony takeover will give it the full control it needs to better compete with Apple's iPhone, and Android handsets made by rivals such as HTC, LT, Motorola and Samsung.

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