Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son plans stake in Uber or Lyft

Japanese tech conglomerate’s investment would deepen its position in US

Masayoshi Son, CEO SoftBank, during a news conference in Tokyo,  on August 7th. Photograph: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

Masayoshi Son, CEO SoftBank, during a news conference in Tokyo, on August 7th. Photograph: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

 

Japan’s SoftBank is set on making a bigger impact in the US, seeking stakes in the leading car sharing services and pushing for consolidation in telecoms and cable.

The tech and telcos conglomerate is interested in making an investment in Uber or its rival Lyft, according to Masayoshi Son, its billionaire founder and chief executive.

At a Tokyo news conference covering quarterly results, he said car-sharing services would become even more important as the sharing economy and autonomous driving – another industry SoftBank is backing – take off.

Mr Son also said negotiations between Sprint, its US wireless arm, and “multiple” sector rivals were ongoing, although he refrained from providing further comment beyond reiterating his expectations for a deal to be done “in the near future”.

Sprint has held exclusive talks with T-Mobile USA, which is controlled by Deutsche Telekom, as well as with Comcast and Charter Communications, the top two cable operators in the US, about possible deals such as offering wireless services on their networks.

For the three months ended June 30th, SoftBank reported a 2.8 per cent year-on-year increase in revenue to 2.18 trillion yen, roughly in line with the median of analysts. – Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017