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Business deals

Behind the scenes of the $27bn Yahoo-Line merger

Deal driven by desire to defend Japan and grow in Asia -- and SoftBank's deep pockets

TOKYO/BANGKOK -- It was two months ago that Yahoo Japan and Line got serious about merging their two companies in a $27 billion union that would create an internet platform serving over 100 million people and could be big enough to fend off U.S. tech giants like Facebook from Japan.

After several years of on-and-off talks, negotiations about a possible partnership kicked into high gear over the summer. Soon, though, the conversation between Takeshi Idezawa, president of Line, and Kentaro Kawabe, president of Yahoo Japan, shifted toward a full-blown merger, people familiar with the matter told Nikkei.

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