According to a report on the Wall Street Journal, Sony Corp is looking to buy off Ericsson’s shares in their joint mobile business. The Sony Ericsson partnership celebrated 10 years together this week but, now it looks like Sony is close to finalising a deal with Ericsson that will buy them out of the joint venture, making Sony the sole shareholder. It’s reported that Sony are keen to take over the partnership as it would allow the manufacturing of mobile phones, tablets, laptops and gaming consoles could be consolidated. This would also mean, Sony would have complete control over the smartphone strategy and would be more able to keep the same UI amongst various products, such as tablets and phones like Samsung and Apple have. As it stands at the moment, the Sony tablets have a Sony UI over the top of Android, which varies significantly to the Sony Ericsson UI found on the Xperia smartphones.
If the deal goes ahead, it could cost Sony any where between €1-2 billion. Neither company has commented on the rumor, however the sources have said that Howard Stringer, Sony CEO “wants to settle the matter as soon as possible”.