One of the mobile industry’s longest-running but increasingly stale marriages is reportedly near an end. Sony (NYSE: SNE) is in talks to buy out Ericsson’s stake in the joint venture they have operated since 2001 to produce mobile phones.
The world has changed an awful lot during that decade, and it sounds like Sony wants more control over its mobile-computing destiny, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. Sony-Ericsson (NSDQ: ERIC) sells a lot of phones, but hasn’t made the transition from feature phones to smartphones as nimbly as competitors like Apple (NSDQ: AAPL), Samsung, and HTC.
Sony thinks it will benefit from having complete control over the company by adding phones to its otherwise huge portfolio of entertainment devices. Hammering out the details won’t be fun, however: not only do the companies have to decide on a valuation, they’ll have to cut some sort of deal covering Ericsson’s mobile patent portfolio, according to the report.