Ericsson is reportedly looking to leave the Sony Ericsson handset joint venture, and Sony is interested in buying out Ericsson's stake.
German magazine Manager, citing insider sources, claimed that Sony has expressed an interest in securing financing from banks to buy out Ericsson's 50% stake.
But the deal could be hampered by the current economic crisis. With Sony recently posting its first loss in 14 years, the company could be hard pressed securing the resources or the justification for such a large purchase, gadget news site Electronista speculated.
And in the current economic climate, the deal could be worth little in terms of cash to Ericsson, and depending on the timing, Ericsson could lose money on the deal, Mobile Burn commentator Ricky Cadden said.
Electronista said the JV had been beset by rumors about in-fighting over the design of the company's future handsets and Sony's apparent reluctance to release a PlayStation-branded phone.
Sony Ericsson posted a $247 million loss in 2008. At the time, Sony CEO Howard Stringer said the company is considering leaving the JV. Sony Ericsson this month said the company expected to return to profit by year-end.