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Sony buys out Ericsson for $1.5 billion

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(Read caption) A Sony Ericsson Xperia phone is tested at a tech fair in Japan. This week, Sony announced it was taking complete control of Sony Ericsson.

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In 2001, Sony joined forces with Ericsson, a Swedish mobile phone manufacturer, yielding a joint venture called Sony Ericsson. This week, Sony announced it would take full control of Ericsson, in a deal reportedly worth roughly $1.5 billion. Sony reps positioned the acquisition as a matter of synergy – now the company can more fully integrate its smartphone and consumer electronics lines.

"Its the beginning of something which I think is quite magical," Sony CEO Howard Stringer said at a press conference in London, according to Reuters. "We can more rapidly and more widely offer consumers smartphones, laptops, tablets, and televisions that seamlessly connect with one another and open up new worlds of online entertainment".

So what does the takeover say about the smartphone market at large? Well, over at GigaOm, Bobbie Johnson notes that the move "underlines how Europe’s mobile credentials have fallen away in the last few years." He points out that just a couple of years ago, the top four mobile phone makers were in Europe and Asia – Nokia and Sony Ericsson in Europe and Samsung and LG in South Korea.

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