Sony, Ericsson In Talks To Dissolve Joint Mobile Phone Venture: Source
HELSINKI/TOKYO (Reuters) - Sony Corp is in talks to buy out Ericsson's stake in their mobile phone joint venture, a source said, in a bid to catch up with rivals.
The move could help Sony recoup ground in the battle against Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics, where it has been hampered by its disparate offerings of mobile gadgets and online content.
Tablets, games devices and other consumer electronics are offered under the Sony brand, while smartphones come under Sony Ericsson.
Sony and Telefon AB LM Ericsson have been talking for weeks about the future of the 50:50 joint venture because the companies must decide this month whether to renew their 10-year-old pact, two industry sources told Reuters.
A source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Friday Sony was discussing a buyout. The source did not want to identified because the talks were not public.
Yoshiharu Izumi, an analyst at J.P. Morgan in Tokyo, said the deal could be worth upwards of $1.3 billion, depending on what agreement the two reach about the continuing use of Ericsson's telecoms patents.
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