Sony Forms Holding Firm To Expand Web Presence

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Sony Corporation has announced it will form a new holding company in the U.S. called Sony Broadband Entertainment, which is an attempt by the company to expand its web presence.

The company is designed to enhance the value of Sony's music, motion picture, television and related entertainment assets. Sony Music Entertainment and Sony Pictures Entertainment will form the core of the new company "as it pursues content creation and the strengthening of network distribution business in both independently and in potential strategic alliances," Sony said.

The company also announced that Sony's strategy for the "Broadband Era" will mean positioning its Net gateways, suhc as digital TV/set top boxes, VAIO personal computers, mobile terminals and PlayStation 2 and then connecting applications and services in order to augment the value of the hardware products.

As part of this effort senior executive VP Kunitake Ando has been named executive deputy president and chief operating officer, who's main focus will be management of the electronics business. Sony Corporation CEO Nobuyuki Idei will head the e Management Committee, or eMC, at company headquarters in Tokyo. COO Ando will chair the committee, which will manage and set strategy for Sony's web business.

In other company news, Sony will be forming its own "Net Bank" and has applied for a license. Sakura Bank and J.P. Morgan & Co. have taken equity states in the web venture, Sakura at 16% and J.P. Morgan at 4%. Sony's 80% stake is $374 million. The purpose of the venture is to establish an Internet retail bank which will provide consumers with enhanced financial services in such areas as deposit-taking, lending, fund transfer and settlement transactions.


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