Sony to buy out Ericsson's half in $1.7 billion deal

The Sony Ericsson joint venture may soon be controlled completely by Sony as the company aims to bring more of the mobile phone operations in house to boost its competitiveness. The WSJ reports that Sony is near closing the deal with Ericsson to buy its half of the venture for around $1.3 to $1.7 billion, which includes the Stockholm-based company's mobile technology patents.

Sony Ericsson's 50-50 joint venture was created back in 2001 and is currently the world's sixth largest cellphone manufacturer. However, Sony's probably not too happy with being left so far behind with Samsung and Apple continuing to dominate the mobile landscape. The Japanese company's new strategy aims to integrate its mobile phones, gaming devices, and PC businesses to reduce cost and make development faster and more efficient.

Sony sees smartphones and tablets as essential components in growing its online network of music, videos, and games. The company has long wanted to feature its Sony PlayStation brand on its phones, but the venture has hindered development. Both sides seem set on going forward with the deal but are still ironing out a proper valuation for Ericsson's business and mobile patents.

[via WSJ]