Magazines Archives - 2010 July
Japanese Rakuten embarks on global e-commerce expansion
Story 8 - E-commerce
TOKYO-BASED e-tailer, Rakuten Inc, has kicked off its global expansion this year by acquiring two overseas e- commerce sites in the US and Europe.
The company revealed in May that it has reached an agreement with USbased online retailer, Buy.com Inc, to buy over the company for approximately US$250 million.
Said Hiroshi Mikitani, founder, chairman and CEO of Rakuten: As we evaluated how to accelerate our global expansion, it became clear that a partnership with Buy.com made perfect sense.
Rakuten, which operates the shopping and entertainment portal, Rakuten Ichiba, first set foot into the US market with its acquisition of performance marketing company, LinkShare, in 2005 for US$425 million. As it looks to accelerate its global growth, Mikitani added that Buy.com shares our vision for the future of e-commerce as a platform to give consumers the best value no matter their location, and to merge shopping with entertainment.
The US e-tailer, which has over 14 million customers at its site, revealed that it incorporates enhanced shopping features like BuyTV, allowing shoppers to watch product reviews and learn more about the products they want to buy beforehand. Neel Grover, CEO and president of Buy.com, also affirmed the companys mission to develop a destination site that features the best of online shopping.
According to Rakuten, it will merge Buy.com with its US subsidiary, Merger Sub, to become a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Japanese company.
The company also revealed last month that it will expand its reach in Europe, with the acquisition of French e-commerce company, PriceMinister SA, for 200 million (US$247.7 million) by July. Said PriceMinisters founder, chairman and CEO, Pierre Kosciusko-Morizet: [As] a world expert in the B2B2C (business-to-business-tocustomer) marketplace business model, [Rakuten] will help us introduce innovative tools tailored to meet a variety of needs of corporate sellers throughout Europe.
In Asia, Rakuten has also entered into a joint-venture arrangement with Indonesian media group, PT Global Mediacom Tbk, to operate an online shopping mall in the country, taking up a 51% stake in the venture with an investment of ¥384 million (US$4.2 million). ra
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