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Japenese Rakuten to buy U.S. Ebates for $1B

Japenese Rakuten to buy U.S. Ebates for $1B

Japanese ecommerce giant Rakuten has agreed to buy up cash-back rebate site Ebates for $1 billion, the company announced in a press release earlier today.

Pairing commerce with coupons is an age-old idea, but Rakuten’s move to purchase a U.S. company may have just as much to do with its plans for expansion as it does with its desire to provide customers with deals.

Rakuten has been busy building a stock of companies that may help it to become a more global company. Purchases include e-reader company Kobo for $315 million in 2011; $250 million for in 2013; and popular messaging app Viber for $900 million in February of this year. Rakuten has also significantly invested in digital scrapbook Pinterest.

Ebates, a coupon clipper for the modern day, is based in San Francisco and claims to work with 2600 e-retailers. The company generated $167 million in net revenue last year.

Analysts have been skeptical about Rakuten’s ability to permeate the U.S. market, because it’s already highly competitive.

Rakuten, Inc. is a Japanese electronic commerce and Internet company based in Tokyo, Japan. Among its numerous online properties, its flagship B2B2C model e-commerce site Rakuten Ichiba is the largest e-commerce site in Japan and among… read more »

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