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Internet

Softbank expands empire

Softbank Ventures expects to invest in 20 more Internet companies by year's end.

ATLANTA--Softbank Ventures expects to invest in 20 more Internet companies by year's end, Chairman Masayoshi Son told a press conference here today.

That will make Softbank the leading investor in more than 50 companies, according to Son.

"We are already the leading shareholder in more than 30 companies on the Internet," Son added, indicating that Softbank is interested only in the top companies in any specific market niche. "In each one of those areas," he said, "we are investing in the number-one companies."

Softbank's best-known Internet investments include large minority stakes in Yahoo, CyberCash, and USWeb, along with an investment in memory maker Kingston Technology and outright ownership of computer industry publisher Ziff-Davis.