Sony announced today that it is acquiring the shares of Sony Ericsson, the joint venture it held with Swedish mobile phone network equipment manufacturer Ericsson.
Sony Ericsson will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony and Ericsson is set to receive just over a billion Euros in cash for the 50 per cent portion of the joint venture which was launched a decade ago.
The agreement between the two parties will also give Sony access to a broad IP cross-licensing agreement and ownership of five "essential patent families" related to wireless handset technology according to the press release.
The acquisition is expected to be closed in January 2012 and Sony will be taking onboard the 7500 employees the company has.
It makes sense for Sony to buy Sony Ericsson. As we mentioned a couple of weeks ago, Sony wants to be a rival to Apple and needs an integrated, coherent ecosystem to do so.
Sony Ericsson essentially brings smartphones to Sony, the missing piece of the puzzle. Android Smartphones account for 80 percent of the sales of Sony Ericsson and the CEO of the company has already announced that they will only produce smartphones from now on.