Sony becomes the second-largest holder of Square shares

Sony pays $124 million for a stake in SquareSoft.

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Sony announced today that it will pay $124 million to become the second-largest holder of shares of SquareSoft. The purchase will give Sony 19 percent ownership of Square and will help the company rebound from losses incurred by its feature-length motion picture, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. Since the movie's release, Square's shares have dropped 50 percent.

A spokeswoman for Square stated that the company approached Sony last month about the investment. Square also stated that the investment will not keep its games from appearing on other platforms, and a spokeswoman for SCE confirmed that Sony will not prohibit Square from doing so.

"We are not necessarily obligated to Sony because of this deal," said Hisashi Suzuki, Square's president. "But we can gauge the situation in the future and offer software to the best-selling hardware maker, and at this time, there is no doubt that Sony is the best."

A spokeswoman from Sony Computer Entertainment America stated that Square's role as a multiplatform publisher will remain unchanged but that Square has been and will remain a strategic partner in a relationship that has been mutually beneficial to both companies. Square did not return our phone calls in time for publish.

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