Softbank to buy eAccess for $2.6 bln -Nikkei

TOKYO, Oct 1 (Reuters) - Japan's No.3 mobile carrier Softbank Corp plans to buy smaller mobile operator eAccess Ltd through a share swap in a deal valued at just under 200 billion yen ($2.6 billion), the Nikkei business daily said on its Website on Monday.

The deal, to be announced later in the day, would bring Softbank within striking distance of No.2 mobile carrier KDDI Corp in terms of cellphone users and help lower network infrastructure costs to support Apple Inc iPhones, which Softbank supplies in Japan, the Nikkei said.

($1 = 77.8000 Japanese yen)

(Reporting by Mayumi Negishi; Editing by Michael Watson)