Vodafone, Softbank set up joint venture

Vodafone and Japan's Softbank are setting up a 50-50 joint venture to develop mobile phones, services and content, mostly for Japan, an Associated Press report said.

The report said the new deal would give Vodafone a way to hang onto a piece of the phone business in Japan after it agreed in March to sell its Japanese mobile phone unit, which had been struggling, to Softbank.

Under this latest agreement, signed by Vodafone CEO Arun Sarin and Softbank chief executive Masayoshi Son, the companies would work together to develop and purchase handsets, create software as well as make and distribute mobile content, the report said.

Both sides would send four members each, including Sarin and Son, to the board for the new joint venture, capitalized at up to 11 billion yen ($100 million), the report said.