Sony Buys Ericsson’s Share of Sony Ericsson for $1.47B

Agreement gives Sony five patent groups

This morning, Sony announced that it’s buying Ericsson’s share of Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB for €1.05 billion (or $1.47 billion), which will make the mobile handset joint venture, formed in 2001, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony.

As part of an intellectual property agreement, Sony will own “five essential patent families” related to wireless handsets, according to a statement. The acquisition deal will also allow Sony to integrate smartphone technology into its other consumer electronics, including PCs, tablets, and television.

"This acquisition makes sense for Sony and Ericsson, and it will make the difference for consumers, who want to connect with content wherever they are, whenever they want,” Sony CEO and Chairman Howard Stringer said a statement. “With a vibrant smartphone business and by gaining access to important strategic IP, notably a broad cross-license agreement, our four-screen strategy is in place. 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.”

Following the acquisition, said Ericsson President and CEO Hans Vestberg, the Stockholm, Sweden-based company will “enhance our focus on enabling connectivity for all devices, using our R&D and industry leading patent portfolio to realize a truly connected world.”

If it passes regulatory approval, the companies said that the deal is expected to close in January 2012.