Masayoshi Son in WSJ

Masayoshi Son has a commentary in the WSJ in relation to his new efforts with Softbank Japan.

He couches his commentary in terms of new “competition” in the Japanese mobile market, and while I don’t disagree, it’s a tad disingenuous. Softbank is one of the largest companies in Japan.

Phone service is almost 70% more expensive than in the U.S. I wanted to bring competitive pricing to this market. This was not easy; two companies hold over four-fifths of the mobile-phone market share. Competing with these players is a big boy’s game. Everyone is happy and profitable, and to make a change you must be passionate about price competition.

Masayoshi Son and Softbank ARE the big boys in Japan. Yes, NTT and KDDI are network owners, but Softbank-owned Yahoo! BB has shown that you don’t need to own the network in order to dominate broadband in Japan.

Plus he calls out the fact that his ads feature Cameron Diaz. What’s up with that?

I’m for competition, options, choice. I’m even a Softbank mobile customer. But in this commentary, Son makes himself and his company out to be the underdog in Japan. Those who live in Japan and are blanketed by Son and his properties (Yahoo! Japan, Yahoo! BB, Softbank and all their media properties) know that he is no underdog.

Mobile Monopoly –

One comment on “Masayoshi Son in WSJ
  1. MVNOs can do a lot of cool things, but I’ve never heard of them being able to effectively drive prices down (the “Helio method” is to compete on features, or some other gimmick unrelated to prices). Softbank probably did have to buy into Vodafone (I assume they have a separate infrastructure) to have a chance of competing on price with the other two companies.
    On the other hand, the addition of the dedicated “Yahoo!” button sounds like an especially advanced case of the same ludicrous portalphilia that every mobile company seems to get into.
    Also, if I had Cameron Diaz in my ads, I would totally mention that every time I could. Except I’d get someone cool in my ads, like maybe Bjork or Jennifer Tilly or, uh, any of the female stars from Battlestar Galactica.
    That would be cool.