Ericsson and STMicroelectronics have agreed to merge Ericsson Mobile Platforms and ST-NXP Wireless into a joint venture. The 50/50 joint venture will have the industry’s strongest product offering in semiconductors and platforms for mobile applications and will be an important supplier to Nokia, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, LG and Sharp.

The fabless joint venture will employ almost 8,000 people with pro-forma 2007 sales of $3.6 B. ST is expected to exercise its option to buy NXP’s 20 percent of ST-NXP Wireless before the closing of the transaction.

In the joint venture, ST contributes its industry-leading multimedia and connectivity solutions as well as a complete world-class 2G/EDGE platform and strong 3G offering while Ericsson contributes its industry-leading 3G and LTE platform technology.

The joint venture, staffed by proven professionals across all functional areas, is designed for long-term stability in its original structure, and is set to become an industry leader in product research, as well as design, development, and the creation of cutting-edge mobile platforms and wireless semiconductors.

The joint venture will be headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, and governance will be balanced between the companies.