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.
Dassault Systèmes, a leader in 3D and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions, acquires Exalead, a French search engine for about €135 million.
Exalead, the 'French Google'
Founded in 2000 by search engine pioneers, Exalead is a global providers of Search Platforms and Search-Based Applications (SBA) for consumer and business users.
Among Exalead’s worldwide clients, there are leading companies such as PriceWaterhouseCooper and Michelin. More than 100 million unique visitors use Exalead’s technology for search each month.
The company is involved in the Quaero project, an European technology consortium, mainly funded by the French government to develop multimedia search tools.
Reshaping the search engine landscape
Exalead has a platform to apply advanced semantic processing to Web-scale data. It brings structure, meaning and accessibility to previously unused or under-utilized data in the disparate information cloud.
Contrary to other search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo, Exalead is not largely known from the public yet.
Nevertheless, its thumbnail previews of the target pages along with the results, and its advanced refining on the results page (language, geographic location, file type, categories) seem very interesting tools to me.
There are 192 millions sold domain names in the world. which means 15 millions more than at the end of 2008.
so we will probably reach the 200 millions this year in 2010.
the .com is the king of domain names, with 84 millions, but the contry extensions are increasing faster.
The chinese domain names for example, the famous .cn is increasing by 467% in one year!
The first european one is the german one (.de) with 13 millinos, the french one has 1.6 millions.
The .com has increased by 7% in 2009.
The first domain name ever sold was symbolics.com, the 15 march 1985.
The .net is the forth most sold domain, after the .com, .cn (china), .de (germany).
The goal of a search engine is to give the best answer to a search query in the minimum time. That is their reason TO BE, and AltaVista died because Google came with more ... accuracy. That’s it, that's the business.
Now, in the "assemblee nationale" the French most important chamber of representatives, they voted a new law which says "search engines have to give a better ranking to legal offers".
It's an attempt to decrease online music and movies piracy. i say an attempt, because of course, it cannot work, and here are SOME of the reasons why :
1) You are asking the search engines to change their... algorithm! You touch the very essential, the core of what makes their glory or their doom. And of course, they won't change it to please the French parliament. if
They become less accurate, they lose customers, so they lose money...
2) Who will decide what to promote and what NOT to promote? the new HADOPI structure? the French government? on which objective element?
- Elysee (French president office): hello Google, please give more importance to "la fnac" and less importance to "dailymotion" because la fnac has no copied content...
- Google guy : sure no problem mister president, do you want us to rank elysee.fr higher than whitehouse.gov for your convenience as well ... :o)
I just speak here of the SERP (search engine response pages) aspect, without talking of the many MANY other problems this law creates
(by the way, wasn't it supposed to solve problems.... hum, anyways).