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SoftBank Group Corp.
Traded as TYO: 9984
Industry Telecommunications
Founded September 3, 1981; 34 years ago (1981-09-03)
Headquarters Tokyo, Japan
Key people
Masayoshi Son
(Chairman & CEO)
Nikesh Arora
(President & COO)
Products Fixed line and mobile telephony, Internet services, digital television
Revenue Increase ¥8.67 trillion (FY2014)[1]
Increase ¥1 trillion (FY2014)[1]
Increase ¥668 billion (FY2014)[1]
Total assets Increase ¥21 trillion (FY2014)[1]
Total equity Increase ¥2.8 trillion (FY2014)[1]
Number of employees
69,067 (2015 consolidated)[2]
Subsidiaries SoftBank Corp. (99.99%)
Sprint Corporation (80% as of August 6, 2013 [3])
SB Creative
Yahoo! Japan (~35%)
GungHo Online Entertainment (58.5%)[4]
Alibaba Group (37%)

SoftBank Group Corp. (ソフトバンクグループ株式会社 Sofutobanku Gurūpu Kabushiki-gaisha?)[5] 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.[6]

SoftBank was established in 1981 and is headquartered in Tokyo. As at 2015, SoftBank was the 62nd largest company in the world (based on a composite of sales, profit, assets and market value).


SoftBank was established in Tokyo, Japan, on September 3, 1981. In May 2015, SoftBank was ranked in the Forbes Global 2000 list as the 62nd largest public company in the world.[7] Between 2009 and 2014, SoftBank's market capitalization increased by 557%, the fourth largest relative increase in the world over that period.[8] At the beginning of 2015, the company was the third largest public company in Japan after Toyota and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial.[9]

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,, EF Education First and Morningstar. SBI Group is a Japanese financial services company that began in 1999 as a branch of SoftBank.[10]

SoftBank was the only official carrier of the iPhone in Japan until the release of iPhone 4S when it became available on au by KDDI as well.[11]

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.[12]

In May, 2015, Masayoshi Son said he would appoint Nikesh Arora, a former Google executive, as Representative Director and President of SoftBank. Arora has been heading SoftBank's investment arm.[13]

In June 2015, Softbank announced it would invest $1 billion in the Korean e-commerce website Coupang as part of its overseas expansion plans.[14]


  • 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 [] respectively[15]
  • 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[16]
  • June 4, 2008 – SoftBank Mobile announced partnership with Apple and brought the iPhone (3G) to Japan later in 2008[17]
  • February 3, 2010 – SoftBank acquired 13.7% in Ustream with the option to increase shares to 30% by July 2011[18]
  • October 1, 2010 – Ayumi Hamasaki becomes the commercial spokesperson[19]
  • October 3, 2012 – Masayoshi Son announced the take over of its competitor eAccess[20]
  • October 15, 2012 – SoftBank announced plans to take control of Sprint Nextel by purchasing a 70% stake for $20 billion[21]
  • 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 2013 – SoftBank had acquired 51% of stake in Supercell for reported $2.1 billion.
  • October 25, 2014 - SoftBank invested $210 million in OlaCabs [22]
  • October 28, 2014 - SoftBank invested $627 million in Snapdeal with 30% stake in the company
  • November 2014 - SoftBank invested $100 million in with 30% stake in the company[23]
  • SoftBank acquired DramaFever[24]
  • June 1, 2015 - SoftBank acquired an additional 22.7% stake in Supercell, owning total 73.2% of the company and becoming the sole external shareholder of the company.


Since June 2007, SoftBank's marketing and commercials have principally revolved around "Otousan", the canine patriarch of the otherwise human "Shirason, "Kaito".[25] 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.[26]

Baby bonus[edit]

Softbank, along with some other companies in Japan,[27] offer a baby bonus for employees who have children. The payments range from US$400 for a first child to US$40,000 for a fifth child.[28][29]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Investor Relations: Financial Results Highlights". SoftBank Group Corp. Retrieved 13 August 2015. 
  2. ^ "About SoftBank: Corporate Data". SoftBank Group Corp. Retrieved 13 August 2015. 
  3. ^ "Additional Purchases of Sprint Corporation Shares". SoftBank. August 6, 2013. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  4. ^ Mike Rose. "Gamasutra - Japan's SoftBank acquires Puzzle & Dragons publisher GungHo". 
  5. ^ "Changes of Corporate Names". Softbank Group. 2015-07-15. Retrieved 2015-11-30. 
  6. ^ "9984:JP". (Bloomberg L.P.). Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  7. ^ "Forbes Global 2000". (Forbes). Retrieved 13 August 2015. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Historical market caps of the largest Japanese companies". Retrieved 1 April 2015. 
  10. ^ Corporate history, JP: SBI .
  11. ^ "SoftBank reaches deal with Apple to sell iPhone handsets in Japan this year", International Herald Tribune (The New York Times), 2008-06-04, archived from the original on June 8, 2008 
  12. ^ Soni, Phalguni. "The latest word in telecom". Market Realist. Market Realist, Inc. Retrieved April 21, 2014. 
  13. ^ Martin, Alexander (May 11, 2015). "SoftBank CEO Taps a Future Successor in Nikesh Arora". The Wall Street Journal (The Wall Street Journal). Retrieved 11 May 2015. 
  14. ^ Ritsuko Ando (3 June 2015). "SoftBank to invest $1 billion in Korean e-commerce site Coupang". Reuters. Retrieved 3 June 2015. 
  15. ^ 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. 
  16. ^ 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. 
  17. ^ "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. Archived from the original on June 13, 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-07. 
  18. ^ "Softbank profit soars; buys stake in Ustream", Japan Today, February 3, 2010 .
  19. ^ Head lines, JP: Yahoo [dead link]
  20. ^ Santos, Alexis (2012-10-03). "Softbank to acquire competitor eAccess, expand LTE network by 50 percent". Engadget. Retrieved 2013-07-02. 
  21. ^ "Softbank to Buy 70 Percent Stake in Sprint: Sources". CNBC. Retrieved October 15, 2012. 
  22. ^ "Olacabs raises $210 million from Japan's SoftBank Corp; enters b Club". The Times Of India. October 25, 2014. 
  23. ^ "Startup valued at Rs 1,500 crore after SoftBank acquires 30% stake for $70 million". The Times Of India. November 19, 2014. 
  24. ^ J.T. Quigley (May 22, 2015). "Post-acquistion, DramaFever has more muscle to spread Asian entertainment to the West". Tech In Asia. Retrieved May 22, 2015. 
  25. ^ "Veteran actor Kai-kun retires from Softbank Otousan role". www.japanhbvn nb Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  26. ^ Corkill, Edan (29 April 2012). "Otosan, Japan’s top dog". Japan Times. Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  27. ^ Turner, David Japan offers baby bonus to workers March 21, 2007 Financial Times Retrieved September 29, 2015
  28. ^ Cash for Kids: Japan's Employers Offer 'Baby Bonuses' ABC News Retrieved September 29, 2015
  29. ^ A shrinking work force solution: Baby bonuses BusinessRecord Retrieved September 29, 2015


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