Sony Ericsson May Split Via Sony Buyout

Posted by at 10:24 am on October 6, 2011

Sony Ericsson ​is on the verge of splitting up as Sony hopes to get a more Apple-like control of its phones, insiders disclosed Thursday. Under the terms slipped to the WSJ, Sony would buy Ericsson’s 50 percent stake. Little is known other than that the Ericsson share could be worth as much as $1.7 billion and that Ericsson’s mobile-focused patents might be involved. Sony’s CEO Sir Howard Stringer reportedly wants to finish a deal as equickly as possible.

Neither half of the partnership would comment, although Sony Ericsson CEO Bert Nordberg said a week ago that his company was closer to Sony than Ericsson, which is defined by networking infrastructure gear rather than public-facing devices.

Much of the reasoning behind the split would be to streamline Sony’s work and have more direct control over the hardware and software, even as it keeps using Android. Although never officially confirmed, it’s widely known that Sony was frustrated at being held back by Ericsson and, at one point,refused to allow a PlayStation phone as it didn’t want the Sony Ericsson brand and design attached to one of its best-known names. Eventually, the two compromised and released the Xperia Play.

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