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Masayoshi Son: A Key Figure in the Future of Yahoo

5:26 am on Dec 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

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A Key Figure in the Future of Yahoo [dealbook.nytimes.com]

If there is one person who holds the key to the future of the American Internet also-ran, it may be Mr. Son, the 53-year-old billionaire founder of Softbank.

While Mr. Son is little known in the United States, Softbank owns big chunks of Yahoo's most valuable investment stakes: Yahoo Japan and the Alibaba Group, one of China's largest Internet companies. Combined, analysts estimate, those assets, along with Yahoo's cash, represent more than half of Yahoo's $22 billion value.

With all the speculation about Yahoo's future Will it be broken up? Will it be taken private? Will it merge with AOL? virtually every situation contemplated begins and ends with Yahoo selling its Asian crown jewels. And that is where Mr. Son comes in, perhaps on either side of a deal.

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