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TOKYO : SoftBank’s internet business, the former Yahoo Japan now known as Z Holdings Corp., and the messaging service Line Corp. said they are considering a merger of their businesses.

SoftBank Corp., the domestic telecom arm of Masayoshi Son’s business empire, holds a 44% stake in Z Holdings, while Line is controlled by South Korea’s Naver Corp.

SoftBank Group Corp.’s founder has relied on earnings from the telecom operations in Japan to finance his investments in technology companies overseas. But profits in the business may come under pressure from the entry of e-commerce giant Rakuten Inc. planned for next year.

Line struggled after going public in 2016, but its shares have climbed about 21% this year in Tokyo. Z Holdings shares have gained about 40%.

The Nikkei newspaper reported the talks earlier.



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