Looking to launch its own mobile Internet service, Yahoo Japan Corp.is set to buy telco eAccess from wireless provider SoftBank Corp. for 324 billion yen (approx. US$3.17 billion). The move would realize Yahoo Japan’s goal of gaining control over its own network, instead of relying on other providers or the network of SoftBank.
Yahoo Japan President Manabu Miyasaka said, “We want 10 million (additional users), and we won’t reach that unless we have control over our own handsets, service plans and sales channels, so we’re launching this as a standard mobile operator.” The deal will be finalized on June 2, following the merger of eAccess with wireless provider and another SoftBank subsidiary, Willcom, which will give the two companies 10 million users combined. Despite SoftBank’s 99.68 percent stake in eAccess, the company still has limited voting rights and control in the company with only 33.29 percent. However, as the remaining voting rights are divided among various holders, SoftBank still has majority control.
The country’s biggest Internet portal, Yahoo Japan is a joint venture between Yahoo and SoftBank as the Internet company tries to secure foothold in the region after pulling out its services in certain countries in Asia two years ago. SoftBank currently owns 42.6 percent shares at Yahoo Japan. Known for being the first to launch Apple’s iPhone in Japan, the company acquired U.S. mobile carrier Sprint Corp. last year. The purchase of eAccess will hand the company a 55.7 billion yen revenue at the end of fiscal year in March 2015.