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Rakuten logs $590m half-year loss on heavy telecom spending

CEO Mikitani sees mobile business as crucial for pulling in new customers

Rakuten Group is investing heavily to develop its virtual communications network, the Rakuten Communications Platform. (Photo by Kosuke Imamura)

TOKYO -- Rakuten Group on Wednesday reported its second straight quarterly loss and a 65.4 billion yen ($590 million) deficit for the January to June fiscal first half, as capital costs piled up in the company's fledgling mobile segment, including the 40 billion yen acquisition of a U.S.-based mobile technology company.

The company, best known for its e-commerce business, posted 402 billion yen in revenue in the April to June quarter, up 8% year-on-year and its highest figure ever for a second quarter, helped by customer acquisitions in its main e-commerce and fintech businesses.

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