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."
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
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Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, Shortlist.com at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.