Japan's online mall giant Rakuten acquires French number one online eCommerce platform PriceMinister for about 200 million euros.
Rakuten buys France's biggest eCommerce platform
Rakuten which is Japan’s biggest online shopping mall operator will acquire the entire stake in PriceMinister which is France's biggest online shopping platform in terms of monthly visitors.
The 200 million euro acquisition is expected to be finalized in July.
Launched in 2000, PriceMinister had 10 million registered members and revenue of 40 million euros in 2009. The Paris-based company also provides services in the UK and Spain.
Rakuten wants to be a global company
With this acquisition, Rakuten enters the European eCommerce market after it recently bought US online retailer Buy.com for approximatively the same price ($250M).
In addition, the Chinese online shopping market is also part of Rakuten's plans: the Japanese company established a joint venture with the Chinese search engine Baidu to launch an eCommerce platform in China.
Moreover, Rakuten also signed a deal with Indonesian media conglomerate PT Global Mediacom to launch a local eCommerce network through a joint-venture in the second half of 2010.
With these several acquisitions and partnerships, the Japenese company clearly wants to expand internationally since Japan's eCommerce market is mature.
World eCommerce market on the move
At the same time, Rakuten's rivals, China's largest e-retailer Taobao and Yahoo! Japan, have joined forces to launch the world's largest cross-border e-Commerce platform.
World e-Commerce market is undergoing moves, especially in Asia where growth is driven by countries such as China (see our previous post about statistics of China's e-Commerce).
US actors like Ebay and Amazon have been rather discrete till now but they will have to react if they want to be still parts of the worldwide eCommerce race.