Sony Corp., the world's second-largest consumer electronics maker, said it's shutting its North American wireless phone business and firing about 200 employees in engineering, sales and marketing. Sony is making the move, which it expects to complete by the end of September, because the business had "a difficult year" and has "had a tough time staying competitive in that area," Sony spokesman Greg Dvorken said. The business, Sony Digital Telecommunications of America, operates as part of Sony Electronics Inc., which has more than 25,000 North American employees. The fired workers include about 130 in San Diego and 70 scattered across the continent, Dvorken said. They may apply for jobs at Sony Technology Center in San Diego, also part of Sony Electronics. The company will continue its U.S. wireless technology research and development operations in San Diego. The business is associated with Sony's joint venture with Qualcomm Inc. to make portable phones.
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