September 26, 2017 4:27 pm JST

Rakuten to buy low-cost smartphone operator Freetel

Online retail giant to be Japan's third-largest smartphone operator

TOKYO -- Japanese online retail giant Rakuten will acquire Freetel, the country's sixth-largest smartphone service operator, Rakuten said Tuesday.

The deal will push Rakuten, currently the fourth-largest operator, into third place behind only giants SoftBank Group and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone.

Rakuten will spend 520 million yen ($4.7 million) to acquire the budget smartphone business from Plus One Marketing, the operator of Freetel.

Rakuten aims to broaden its customer base with low-cost smartphone services, while expanding its online shopping business.

Budget operators have been in fierce competition for subscribers with major telecom companies, with the number of budget smartphone users now accounting for 10% of all users, prompting reorganization in the industry.

(Nikkei)

Rakuten, Inc.

Japan

Market(Ticker): TKS(4755)
Sector:
Industry:
Consumer Services
Other Consumer Services
Market cap(USD): 12,716.57M
Shares: 1,434.57M

SoftBank Group Corp.

Japan

Market(Ticker): TKS(9984)
Sector:
Industry:
Communications
Specialty Telecommunications
Market cap(USD): 91,594.71M
Shares: 1,100.66M

Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp.

Japan

Market(Ticker): TKS(9432)
Sector:
Industry:
Communications
Major Telecommunications
Market cap(USD): 95,975.25M
Shares: 2,096.39M

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