* To buy eAccess, create new mobile provider in SoftBank
* New Net-focused mobile service will aim for 20 million
(Rewrites with Yahoo Japan's plans to launch mobile telecoms
TOKYO, March 27 Yahoo Japan Corp will
buy mobile network operator eAccess from No. 3 Japanese wireless
carrier SoftBank Corp for 324 billion yen ($3.17
billion) to launch its own mobile Internet service.
Yahoo Japan, the country's biggest Internet portal and 42.6
percent owned by SoftBank, said on Thursday its new Y!mobile
service would aim for more than 20 million users and would use a
simple pricing structure to attract new customers.
The purchase, scheduled for June 2, will immediately follow
eAccess' planned merger with wireless provider Willcom, another
SoftBank subsidiary. The two currently have about 10 million
Yahoo Japan President Manabu Miyasaka said the company
wanted to have control of its own network, rather than using the
network of SoftBank or another provider.
"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," he told a news conference.
SoftBank's 99.68 percent stake in eAccess carries only 33.29
percent voting rights due to regulatory restrictions and
therefore lacks veto control over major decisions. But it
nonetheless confers effective operating control since the
remaining voting rights are split among several holders.
SoftBank, which launched the Apple Inc iPhone in
Japan and last year acquired No. 3 U.S. mobile carrier Sprint
Corp, expects to post a special gain on the eAccess sale
of 55.7 billion yen for the fiscal year ending March 2015.
($1 = 102.3100 Japanese Yen)
(Reporting by Yoshiyasu Shida, Dominic Lau and Sophie Knight;
Editing by Edmund Klamann and Sophie Walker)