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Rakuten to buy Viber for $900 million

Staff writer |
Rakuten will acquire global messaging and VoIP company Viber Media Ltd for a total consideration of $900 million and will hold 100% of Viber's outstanding voting stock and underwrite a new issue of shares.

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Viber is a messaging and VoIP service operator and has approximately 280 million global registered users, and monthly active users over 100 million. Viber apps on smartphones allow users to have conversations, and through its high quality functions users can send and receive messages and images, thus Viber offers a hybrid range of services rarely found on competing platforms. Viber is rapidly growing numbers of users, especially in emerging countries.

The Company decided to acquire Viber to strengthen its global platform through the use of Viber's range of customers in the Company's E-Commerce and digital contents services.

In the past, consumers had been using conventional televisions and fixed line telephones for contents as a means of communication, but this has been shifting to mobile contents and apps. Viber's globally popular messaging service is seeing a rapid increase in numbers of registered users, and this will strengthen our digital strategy.

The company aims to be the global No. 1 Internet services company, and in addition to its existing e-Commerce and Internet finance services, this acquisition will allow the company to build on several digital contents services, and advance into new markets.

The company has developed the Rakuten Ecosystem nd members are able to access a range of services through common ID numbers and the enormously popular and successful online Rakuten Super Points rewards program. Viber's fun approach to messaging and high quality VoIP services is a perfect marriage with Rakuten's Internet service offerings and its Shopping is Entertainment philosophy.

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