The Japanese electronic commerce and Internet company Rakuten, has today announced that it will be acquiring the Skype competitor, and general phone service competitor, Viber for $ 900 million because it “perfectly complements” the company’s digital strategy, according to Hiroshi Mikitani, the company’s Chairman and CEO who said the following in his statement:
“I am tremendously excited to welcome Viber to the Rakuten family. Viber delivers the most consistently high quality and convenient messaging and VoIP experience available, additionally, Viber has introduced a great sticker market and has tremendous potential as a gaming platform. Simply put, Viber understands how people actually want to engage and have built the only service that truly delivers on all fronts. This makes Viber the ideal total consumer engagement platform for Rakuten as we seek to bring our deep understanding of the consumer to vast new audiences through our dynamic ecosystem of Internet Services.”
Not much was revealed in terms of what the company will do with Viber exactly, or whether it will run the company as it currently is, or in use it within one of its already existing services.
As a guess, I would say that the company might keep the business as it is, as well as incorporate it with their current Ply.com business, maybe adding free support calls?