Hold the celebratory dinner and especially the champagne toast.
Carlo Bozotti, president and CEO, at STMicroelectronics NV and Carl-Henric Svanberg, his counterpart at Ericsson LM, have accomplished the easier task of forming a joint venture semiconductor and mobile platform business.
Now comes the formidable task of cobbling into one seamless whole businesses that were until a few months ago separate entities operating out of three different countries with varied information technology systems and a host of other distinguishing characteristics.
More importantly, though, ST and Ericsson now must decide the real future of the new business and their continued role in its management.
One key question they must answer is whether the new company should continue as a subsidiary of the two bigger entities—with both mutual and conflicting interests—or secure its future and the ability to determine the best growth and profit direction through complete independence.
Without a doubt, the best course of action for these partners is to dump the current 50-50 percent ownership structure and truly set the company free by launching it as an independent enterprise.
This could come either through a distribution of their ownership stakes in the company to the shareholders of both ST and Ericsson or via an initial public offering.
So far, it doesn't appear that the partners are thinking of setting the new company completely free.
The proposed ownership structure under which ST and Ericsson would each retain 50 percent of the JV is not in the best interest of the new company. Svanberg, Ericsson's president and CEO, says the 50-50 structure offers a sense of "balance" to the JV partners.
"This is not about someone being bigger," Svanberg said. "This is about mutual respect."
That's a mistaken goal for a company of this size to pursue and it further demonstrates the unwillingness of some of Europe's high-tech companies to cede control of parts of their businesses.