TOKYO—Japan's Rakuten Inc. 4755.TO +1.22% said it will acquire call-application maker Viber Media Inc. for $900 million, in the online retailer's first major foray into voice communications.
The deal for Cyprus-based Viber, which lets users make Internet-based calls on smartphones and computers, expands the Japanese e-commerce giant's global portfolio of services, which now spans e-readers, financial services, and the baseball team that until recently hosted star pitcher Masahiro Tanaka. ...continue reading ...
The Wall Street Journal 2/14/2014 [en]
- Rakuten has been acquiring digital contents related companies in the last few years including e-reader Kobo, video on demand Wuaki.tv and Viki. Rakuten may aim to utilize Viber's large mobile user base to distribute the various digital contents. It is also great advantage for Viber to be backed by Rakuten's financial power, because it is in a fierce competition with other messenger apps such as WhatsApp, LINE, and WeChat.