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Party Watch: Sony Ericsson

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The opening rounds of the Sony Ericsson Open kick off next Thursday in Key Biscayne, Fla. It’s the largest tennis tournament outside the four slams.

Its sponsor is phone maker Sony Ericsson, which said today that it expects to post a first quarter pretax loss of as much as $530 million.

The company, which is the fourth-largest maker of cell phones, is getting hammered by Apple’s iPhone and conceded today that it may have to contract by at least 10 percent this year.

Sony Ericsson isn’t getting bailed out by the U.S. government and doesn’t have a stock that trades in this country, so the scrutiny won’t be as tight as some of the companies that have sponsored golf tournaments, but expect there to be a watchful eye on the level of parties and hospitality at the event this year.

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