Rakuten to acquire Viki for USD200 million - report

By Rizza Sta. Ana

Sep 02, 2013 08:08 AM EDT

According to a Techcrunch report, e-commerce site giant Rakuten acquired global video site Viki and would sign a reported USD200 million buyout agreement tomorrow. Viki is a video service streaming platform that collates subtitles that have been translated in different languages. Rakuten did not disclose financial details of the buyout.

The USD16 billion Japanese Internet services ecosystem's newest acquisition was said to indicate that it had placed itself as a competitor against Amazon and Netflix. In the last two years, the Japanese e-commerce site acquired Kobo, an internet services provider catered to e-readers, and Wuaki.tv, a European internet platform dedicated to streaming videos. 

The two companies's recent endeavors would have influenced Rakutan to acquire Viki. Kobo launched a new e-reader and three tablets on Android to compete with Amazon's Kindle series. Wuaki.tv's new Android apps and iPad were said to compete with LOVEFiLM and NetFlix, also by Amazon.

Hiroshi Mikitani, Rakuten chairman and chief executive officer, said, "Since our foundation, Rakuten's focus too has been to open up great services, content and goods to a global community. Viki is a perfect complement to Rakuten's joint philosophies of Empowerment and Shopping IS entertainment." 

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