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Japanese Firm Rakuten Buys Viber for $900M

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Japanese online giant Rakuten announced that it will be buying Viber for $900 million. Once the deal is finalized, it will be competing against other web messaging services such as WhatsApp of the US, Line of South Korea and WeChat of China. The deal is expected to close next month.

In the last few years, the popularity of text, photo and video messaging apps skyrocketed. Competition is fierce. These apps are used by millions of people worldwide. WhatsApp has over 400 million users, with Skype close to 300 million. Even Facebook, which has more than 1.2 billion global users, is a major player in messaging too.

Rakuten’s businesses include the Rakuten online marketplace, a travel agency, credit cards and the Japanese baseball team Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles.

I hope they don’t change Viber too much. Its the only online messaging app I use.

Source and Image NYTimes

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