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Play.com to be sold off for £25 million

Play.com to be sold off for £25 million
Play, no longer going to be a UK-owned company
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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

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.