Online Retailer Rakuten To Buy Marketer LinkShare For $425 Million - InformationWeek

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Online Retailer Rakuten To Buy Marketer LinkShare For $425 Million

The acquisition gives the Japanese online shopping mall a toe-hold in the American market.

Rakuten Inc. on Tuesday said it has agreed to acquire Internet-marketing firm LinkShare Corp. for $425 million in cash, giving the Japanese online shopping mall a foothold in the U.S. market.

Rakuten's online businesses include shopping, travel, golf reservations and greeting cards. The company also provides shopping over cellular phones, auctions, financial services, broadband entertainment and business-to-business services.

"LinkShare's performance-based marketing expertise across affiliate, search, and e-mail capabilities provides Rakuten with an excellent first step to launch our U.S. operations and continue our international expansion." Hiroshi Mikitani, chairman and chief executive of Rakuten, said in a statement. "We can leverage LinkShare's client relationships and technology advantages worldwide, so that LinkShare will be able to achieve significant growth in the future."

Privately held LinkShare, based in New York, has helped companies build Internet marketing campaigns through email and search engines. It has more than 500 clients, including J.C. Penney,, American Express, Avon Products and Dell.

Rakuten expects to complete the acquisition within six weeks.

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