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Japanese Internet Company Rakuten Acquires Global TV Service Viki

September 2, 2013
The leading Japanese e-commerce and Internet company Rakuten is set to acquire Viki, a Singapore-based startup whose global TV service has been touted as "Hulu for the rest of the world." AllThingsD's Kara Swisher has the story:
The deal was set to be announced next week, but after I queried the company about it, its CEO, Hiroshi Mikitani (whose nickname is Mickey), confirmed the transaction, although he declined to give the price.
According to Swisher's sources, though, the deal was inked to the tune of $200 million. Bearing a name that is a portmanteau of "video" and "wiki," Viki provides streaming services for TV shows, movies, music videos, and other content subtitled in more than 150 languages by a community of fans. Check out the rather clever introductory video for Viki below: If you can't see the video embedded above, please click here. Viki's impressive catalog of videos includes but is certainly not limited to: dramas from South Korea, Taiwan, China, Japan, and the Philippines; movies from Indonesia, Hong Kong, and other countries; and TV shows from NBC Universal, History Channel, A&E, and E!. Viki is the latest company to be purchased by Rakuten as part of the Tokyo-based Internet giant's global expansion, which began in 2005. Last year, Rakuten bought the Canadian e-reader company Kobo for $315 million and invested $100 million in the popular photo-sharing website Pinterest. Viki for iOS is available in the App Store for free. The app is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad running iOS 5.0 or later. [gallery link="file" order="DESC"]

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