Rakuten acquires Ebates for $1 billion

Rakuten's CEO says the "very important strategic acquisition" will give Rakuten the opportunity to expand globally.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer
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Rakuten has confirmed the purchase of online shopping coupon and rebate provider Ebates.com for $1 billion.

In an announcement Tuesday, the provider of the largest e-commerce platform in Japan said once the all-cash deal is complete, Rakuten will hold 100 percent of Ebates outstanding voting stock.

Rakuten, controlled by CEO Hiroshi Mikitani, believes the acquisition of US cash-back shopping website Ebates will "help create the world's most attractive and innovative membership-based, loyalty-driven marketplace for consumers."

San Francisco-based Ebates provides shoppers incentives if they make purchases online. Amazon, Macy's, Walmart and Lancome are among retailers on board with the scheme, of which approximately 2,600 are partnered with Ebates to lure consumers with discounts, rebates, coupons and promotional deals.

Last year, shoppers spent $2.2 billion through the Ebates.com website.

Mikitani said in prepared remarks:

"The combination of Rakuten and Ebates is entirely unique and will revolutionize e-commerce. This is all about the consumer and we are excited to be able to empower our members with even more ways to enjoy shopping on Rakuten and Ebates.

Combined, Rakuten and Ebates will be able to offer our members access to what will undoubtedly be the world’s largest selection of products across the broadest range of categories. It will also give our members the greatest incentives to keep shopping."

As reported by the Wall Street Journal, Rakuten's CEO said the "very important strategic acquisition" of Ebates will help the firm expand beyond its main customer base in Tokyo, Japan. The Japanese online retail giant hopes that access to Ebates' 2.5 million customers will help the firm tap into US markets.

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