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Thursday, May 20, 2010
Rakuten Makes Global Expansion Move With Acquisition of

In a move signaling an acceleration of its global expansion plans, Japan?s leading internet company, Rakuten, announced today that it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire, a U.S. retail marketplace.

Combined, the two companies represent one of the world?s largest online retail marketplaces. The acquisition, valued at approximately $250 million (USD), will be carried out by Rakuten?s U.S. subsidiary, Rakuten USA.

Across Asia, Rakuten has established itself as an ecommerce powerhouse, empowering tens of thousands of merchants to build personal relationships with their customers through its approach of combining shopping and entertainment ? called Rakuten Ichiba.

In 2005, Rakuten established a presence in the U.S. through its acquisition of LinkShare, a leading performance marketing company. In North America and much of Europe, has recently surged as a major online marketplace, having experienced profitable growth for the past three years. Among its own innovations, was the first online retailer to offer enhanced shopping features such as BuyTV, which enables consumers to watch product video reviews and learn about products before purchase.

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