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Saturday, April 15, 2006

Son to head up Vodafone unit

Staff writer

Softbank Corp. President Masayoshi Son announced Friday he will assume the presidency of the recently acquired Japanese unit of Vodafone Group PLC.

Son told reporters after meeting of the Liberal Democratic Party's communications and broadcasting panel that he would take the helm of Vodafone K.K. "as soon as (I can) after going through (necessary) procedures after the transfer of the (company) ownership."

The date of Son's appointment is unclear -- it must be approved by Vodafone's shareholders and by the board of directors. A Softbank public affairs official would not give the dates for the meetings.

Softbank announced it was acquiring Vodafone K.K. for 1.75 trillion yen last month in a deal that will give it Vodafone's 15 million customers and its nationwide communications network.

Vodafone outlets have been getting calls from worried customers since the buyout was announced about whether the transition will affect their mobile phone services.

Softbank said separately Friday that it will retain its discount prices and allow customers to use their present e-mail addresses.

The firm also said in a statement that it will continue to offer Vodafone's flat-rate services, including the Love Flat Rate and Family Call Flat Rate, and the basic monthly discount programs, such as Happy Bonus.

Customers will also be able to continue using the vodafone.ne.jp domain name, it said.

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The Japan Times

Article 3 of 8 in Business news

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