There had been rumblings recently that Sony were planning to buy out Ericsson and assume full control, and it today it was confirmed: Sony will pay €1.05 billion for the remaining 50% stake in the company.
That means Sony will have full control of the phone business, but also gain several patents and cross-licensing deals. Tighter reign over the products means that Sony will be able to integrate future offerings across their whole line of consumer electronics, like TVs, laptops, and consoles.
Sony Ericsson have been putting out some good smartphones recently, but they haven’t quite set the world on fire like HTC or Samsung have. If the move ensures better products and more competition, that can only be a good thing.
The deal is expected to go through in January 2012.
Update: Sony Ericsson just got back to us with this statement:
“Sony Ericsson can confirm that Sony Corporation and Telefonktiebolaget LM Ericsson have agreed and announced that Sony will acquire Ericsson’s stake in Sony Ericsson to make the joint venture as a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony. When the transaction closes, subject to normal regulatory approvals and necessary consultations, Sony Ericsson will become a standalone division within Sony Corporation.
The Xperia Smartphone will serve as a cornerstone to Sony’s unique “four screen” proposition, integrating the Xperia Smartphone portfolio to its existing tablet, TV, videogame and personal computer businesses to deliver a more powerful “four screen” experience enabling a connected PC, TV, Tablet and Smartphone experience for consumers. If you have further questions, please contact Sony Corporate Communications or Ericsson Corporate Communications.”
So if you were a fan of the Sony Ericsson custom UI and Facebook Inside Xperia it doesn’t look like these things are going anywhere.
More details and a fuller statement are available on Sony Ericsson’s blog here.