Early this month word started to circulate that Sony was looking to buy out the Ericsson part of the Sony-Ericsson joint venture for smartphones. The company had previously announced that in 2012 its entire line would be smartphones on Android. The deal has been made official today with Sony forking over big money to buy Ericsson out of the joint venture.
Sony has paid $1.47 billion in cash to Ericsson and the former Sony-Ericsson smartphone line will now be folded into the Sony networked consumer electronics arm. When talks of the purchase first started to circulate the price range for the Ericsson share was between $1.3 and $1.7 billion and Sony landed pretty much in the middle of that range.
Sony and Ericsson will continue to work together and have plans for a new joint project that will promote wireless connectivity. Other than just grabbing the smartphone products, Sony also nabbed a bunch of patents in the purchase as well. Patents have turned out in some cases to be more lucrative for licensing than selling smartphones. The deal is subject to customary closing conditions and is hoped to finish by January 2012.