Play.com, one of the UK's biggest e-tailers, has announced that it is to be bought by Rakuten, a Japanese company that specialises in e-commerce.

The surprise takeover was announced this morning with news that the two companies have entered into a 'definitive agreement', where Play.com will be acquired by Ratuken for £25 million (approx. 3.3 billion yen) in cold, hard cash.

Speaking about the sale, Hiroshi Mikitani, Chairman and CEO of Rakuten, said: "The UK market is one of Europe's largest and most mature e-commerce markets.

"Play.com is not only a pioneer in the market, but also one of the UK's most successful e-commerce businesses.

"We aim to leverage our e-commerce strength and experience to further expand and develop Play.com's business model and channel its loyal user base, merchants, and deep product offerings into Rakuten's global e-commerce network."

Pressing Play

Play.com has 14 million registered users and has consistently been one of the most prolific e-commerce sites in the UK since its launch in 1998.

Although it has never reached the fame and fortune of Amazon – which seems to be doing a pretty decent job of reaching into other sectors such as web downloads and the Amazon Kindle – at £25 million, the company seems to be something of a steal for Rakuten.

The last time Play.com was in the news was for a data breach back in March, where the company urged all of its users to change their passwords after information was leaked online.

Via Market Watch