The top 4 companies owned by Sony

The multinational conglomerate Sony Corporation (SNE) is a dominant force in the world of consumer electronics, entertainment and telecommunications. As such, it’s hard to imagine the company’s humble beginnings after WWII. Masaru Ibuka and Akio Morita founded the Tokyo electronics store that would become Sony Corporation with just over $ 500 and a handful of employees. With their sights set on the American market, the entrepreneurs developed two innovative products for the time: a tape recorder and a transistor radio.

The company has come a long way since then, making a series of strategic acquisitions that have helped boost its position as a giant in the corporate world. Read on to learn more about the top four Sony-owned companies and how they contribute to your financial success.

Key takeaways

  • Sony is a leader in consumer electronics, entertainment and telecommunications.
  • The company completed its acquisition of Ericsson in 2012 and reintroduced it as Sony Mobile Communications.
  • Sony bought Columbia Pictures for $ 3.4 billion in 1989.
  • CBS Record Group, part of Sony Music Entertainment, was acquired in 1988 for $ 2 billion.
  • Sony bought the gaming and cloud company Gaikai in 2012 for $ 380 million primarily for its talent pool and gaming rights.

Sony Financials

The corporation posted $ 78.1 billion in revenue for the full year ended March 31, 2019. The company’s main operating segment is its Games and Network Services division, which consists primarily of the PlayStation brand. PlayStation 4 consoles were responsible for the increase in revenue for the entire year, which amounted to about $ 20.8 billion. It was followed by the company’s financial division and its home entertainment and sound division, with revenues totaling $ 11.5 billion and $ 10.4 billion, respectively.

$ 139.4 billion

Sony’s market cap as of October 2021.


Ericsson (ERIC) has been in business for more than 145 years. The telecommunications, internet and cable corporation was founded by inventor Lars Magnus Ericsson and is based in Sweden. Ericsson has more than 102,000 employees with offices in 114 countries around the world.

The corporation’s fortunes were intertwined with Sony in 2001. The companies entered into a 50/50 partnership to rescue and modernize Ericsson’s mobile phone division. Under the Sony Ericsson partnership, Sony contributed its technical expertise in the areas of mobile phone design and technology. Sony completed the purchase of Ericsson in 2012 and reintroduced the division under a new name: Sony Mobile Communications (SMC). SMC posted operating income of 358.6 billion Japanese yen, or approximately $ 3.1 billion, in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021.

Columbia Pictures Entertainment

Columbia Pictures began operating in 1918 as a small film production studio compared to the major Hollywood studios of the time. During the late 1920s and beyond, the studio experienced rapid growth and financial prosperity as a result of its association with legendary film director Frank Capra.

Over the next 50 years, Columbia Pictures entered television, merging and splitting numerous times with industry players such as Screen Gems and Warner Bros. Coca-Cola bought Columbia Pictures in 1982 for $ 750 million and sold it to Sony in 1989 for $ 3.4 billion in a cash deal. The acquisition made Sony a major player in American cinema.

Sony initially posted more than $ 2 billion in losses as a result of the purchase. However, blockbusters like “The Da Vinci Code” and franchises like “Spider-Man,” “Men in Black” and “James Bond” ultimately earned Columbia Pictures more than $ 4 billion worldwide. Columbia Pictures is a division of Sony Pictures Entertainment, which posted more than 757.6 billion Japanese yen, or about $ 6.6 billion, in revenue in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2021.

CBS Record Group

Like Columbia Pictures, CBS Record Group had a long history in American entertainment. Founded in 1929, it was first known as the American Record Corporation. At the time, the company specialized in rights management, manufacturing and distribution of recorded music. Columbia Broadcasting System acquired American Record Corporation in 1938, but was only entitled to use the word Columbia in North America. To expand their business around the world, the executives changed the company name to CBS Records.

Sony began its acquisition of CBS Records in 1988 for $ 2 billion. At the time, CBS Records was the most successful music company in the world. As a result of the purchase, Sony changed the name of CBS Records to Sony Music Entertainment and reintroduced the Columbia brand. Contracts with music industry powerhouses such as Clive Davis, Michael Jackson and Beyoncé helped Sony Music Entertainment achieve annual revenues that exceeded $ 3.8 billion.


Founded by David Perry, Rui Pereira, and Andrew Gault in 2008, Gaikai develops cloud-based video games and gaming technology. The company’s innovative systems allow players to stream ad-supported games at no cost and do not require players to purchase ad-free versions. Gaikai’s Share Play feature allows players from multiple locations to play together.

Sony bought Gaikai in 2012 for $ 380 million. Like other corporations buying game development companies, Sony acquired Gaikai to access its talent pool and exclusive game rights to its best-selling PlayStation game console. The company’s technology is responsible for Sony’s PlayStation Now cloud gaming platform.

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Mark Holland

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