Ericsson Falls as it Unveils Joint Venture With Sony

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Swedish telecom equipment maker Ericsson (ERICY) was down 1.6% in preopen Instinet trading.

Sony

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and Ericsson this morning announced they would merge their mobile phone businesses, creating a joint venture capitalized at about $500 million. Ericsson said the joint venture will be profitable immediately and will roll out a brand name for its products in the second half of 2002.

Ericsson's shares were up slightly on European exchanges this morning, while Sony's shares closed up 1.8% in Japan.