|Traded as||TYO: 9984
OTC Pink: SFTBF
|Founded||September 3, 1981|
(Chairman & CEO)
|Products||Fixed line and mobile telephony, Internet services, digital television|
|Revenue||¥6.6 trillion (2014)|
|¥1 trillion (2014)|
|¥527 billion (2014)|
|Total assets||¥16 trillion (2014)|
|Total equity||¥1.9 trillion (2014)|
Number of employees
|Subsidiaries||SoftBank Mobile (99.99%)
Sprint Corporation (80% as of August 6, 2013 )
Yahoo! Japan (~35%)
GungHo Online Entertainment (58.5%)
Alibaba Group (37%)
SoftBank Corp. (ソフトバンク株式会社 Sofutobanku Kabushiki-gaisha?) is a Japanese multinational telecommunications and Internet corporation, with operations in broadband, fixed-line telecommunications, e-commerce, Internet, technology services, finance, media and marketing, and other businesses.
SoftBank was established in 1981 and is headquartered in Tokyo. As at 2014, SoftBank was the 86th largest company in the world by market capitalization.
SoftBank was established in Tokyo, Japan, on September 3, 1981, and had a market capitalization of approximately ¥9.53 trillion (approx. $92 billion) on April 1, 2014, making it the 86th largest company in the world by market capitalization. Between 2009 and 2014, SoftBank's market capitalization increased by 557%, the fourth largest relative increase in the world over that period. At the beginning of 2015, the company was the third largest public company in Japan after Toyota and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial.
SoftBank's corporate profile includes various other companies such as Japanese broadband company SoftBank BB, data center company IDC Frontier, gaming company GungHo Online Entertainment, and the publishing company SB Creative. Additionally, it has various partnerships in Japanese subsidiaries of foreign companies such as Yahoo!, E-Trade, Ustream.tv, EF Education First and Morningstar. SBI Group is a Japanese financial services company that began in 1999 as a branch of SoftBank.
On July 6, 2013, the Federal Communications Commission approved SoftBank’s acquisition of Sprint Corporation for $22.2 billion for a 78% ownership interest in Sprint. The acquisition involved payment of $17.2 billion in cash to Sprint shareholders, with the balance $5 billion as capital contribution. The transaction was financed by the way of cash and a bridge loan from a consortium of banks.
- 1995 – Bought COMDEX from The Interface Group
- 1999 – Allowed organizers of COMDEX to restrict admission of media, creating a spiraling effect
- 2001 – Sold COMDEX to Key3Media, a spin-off of Ziff Davis
- January 28, 2005 – SoftBank becomes the owner of the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks, a Nippon Professional Baseball team
- March 17, 2006 – SoftBank announces its agreement to buy Vodafone Japan, giving it a stake in Japan's $78 billion mobile market
- Early April, 2006 – SoftBank completed the purchase of 23% of Betfair, an Internet betting exchange
- Aug, 2006: SoftBank sold all its shares of SBI Group to a subsidiary of SBI's holding company, making SBI independent
- October 1, 2006 – Vodafone Japan changes its corporate name, mobile phone brand name, and its mobile phone domain name to SoftBank Mobile, SoftBank, and [mb.softbank.jp] respectively
- January 28, 2008 – It was announced that SoftBank and Tiffany & Co. collaborated in making a limited 10 model-only cellphone. This cellphone contains more than 400 platinum diamond, totaling more than 20 carat. The cost is said to be more than 100,000,000 yen
- June 4, 2008 – SoftBank Mobile announced partnership with Apple and brought the iPhone (3G) to Japan later in 2008
- February 3, 2010 – SoftBank acquired 13.7% in Ustream with the option to increase shares to 30% by July 2011
- October 1, 2010 – Ayumi Hamasaki becomes the commercial spokesperson
- October 3, 2012 – Masayoshi Son announced the take over of its competitor eAccess
- October 15, 2012 – SoftBank announced plans to take control of Sprint Nextel by purchasing a 70% stake for $20 billion
- January 7, 2013 – SoftBank announced that eAccess became a wholly owned subsidiary effective January 1, 2013
- July 1, 2013 – SoftBank announced that Willcom became a wholly owned subsidiary effective July 1, 2013, after termination of rehabilitation proceedings
- July 10, 2013 – SoftBank completes acquisition of Sprint Nextel Corporation for $21.6 billion for 78% stake in the company. The new company is now known as the Sprint Corporation
- August 6, 2013 – SoftBank purchases approximately 2% more shares of Sprint Corporation, increasing its ownership stake in the company to 80%
- October 25, 2014 - SoftBank invested 210 million in OlaCabs 
- October 28, 2014 - SoftBank invested 627 million in Snapdeal with 30% stake in the company
- November 2014 - SoftBank invested $100 million in Housing.com with 30% stake in the company
Since June 2007, SoftBank's marketing and commercials have principally revolved around "Otousan", the canine patriarch of the otherwise human "Shirato" family. From 2007 to 2014, Otousan (which translates as "father") was portrayed by a white Ainu-ken dog from Hokkaido called Kai. Kai retired in 2014 at the age of 11 and was replaced by his son, "Kaito". The Otousan advertising series proved to be highly popular: CM Research Center ranked the Otousan adverts as the most popular in Japan between 2007 and 2012, based on monthly surveys of 3,000 randomly selected adults in Japan.
- "SoftBank Data Book 2010". Retrieved October 26, 2011.
- "Additional Purchases of Sprint Corporation Shares". SoftBank. August 6, 2013. Retrieved August 30, 2013.
- "9984:JP". www.bloomberg.com. Bloomberg. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
- "Historical market caps of the largest Japanese companies". Retrieved 1 April 2015.
- Corporate history, JP: SBI.
- "SoftBank reaches deal with Apple to sell iPhone handsets in Japan this year", International Herald Tribune (The New York Times), 2008-06-04.[dead link]
- Soni, Phalguni. "The latest word in telecom". Market Realist. Market Realist, Inc. Retrieved April 21, 2014.
- Martin, Alexander. "SoftBank CEO Taps a Future Successor in Nikesh Arora". The Wall Street Journal. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 11 May 2015.
- ボーダフォン、メールのドメイン名も「ソフトバンク」へ──10月1日から (in Japanese). ITmedia Mobile. 2006-07-13. Retrieved 2013-07-02.
- 上戸彩：超高価ケータイ「ないしょにしてね」 (in Japanese). Sports Nippon. Archived from the original on 2008-01-30. Retrieved 2008-01-29.
- "念願のiPhoneを獲得した舞台裏 ソフトバンク、トラウマ乗り越える" (in Japanese). 2008-06-06. Retrieved 2008-06-07.[dead link]
- "Softbank profit soars; buys stake in Ustream", Japan Today, February 3, 2010.
- Head lines, JP: Yahoo[dead link]
- Santos, Alexis (2012-10-03). "Softbank to acquire competitor eAccess, expand LTE network by 50 percent". Engadget. Retrieved 2013-07-02.
- "Softbank to Buy 70 Percent Stake in Sprint: Sources". CNBC. Retrieved October 15, 2012.
- Corkill, Edan (29 April 2012). "Otosan, Japan’s top dog". Japan Times. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
- "Veteran actor Kai-kun retires from Softbank Otousan role". www.japanator.com. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
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