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Business deals

Dwarfed by Big Tech, Yahoo-Line fights for middleweight status in Asia

Merger driven by fear of 'winner takes all' battle for data and talent

Z Holdings CEO Kentaro Kawabe, left, and Line President Takeshi Idezawa, right, shake hands during a news conference in Tokyo on Nov. 18. (Photo by Ken Kobayashi)

TOKYO -- Yahoo Japan and Line are poised to create Japan's biggest internet company when they complete their merger in October 2020, taking a first step toward competing at the global level by challenging Asia's crowded middle tier.

But the combined force will still lag far behind such global players as Google and, not to mention China's Alibaba Group Holding, in market value.

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