The Channel logo

News

By | Paul Kunert 23rd September 2011 08:38

Play.com swallowed by Rakuten

Zero resistance as Japan invades Channel Islands

Online DVD and CD seller Play.com has been flogged to Japanese web conglomerate Rakuten for £25m in cash.

The transaction comes months ahead of a government clampdown on the tax loophole that the Channel Islands-based etailer had exploited over the 13 years since it was founded.

This is the third acquisition that internet service firm Rakuten has made in Europe: it bought the French ecommerce player PriceMinister in 2010 and German online shopping mall Tradoria in July.

Hiroshi Mikitani, chairman and CEO of Rakuten, said the UK is "one of the largest and most mature ecommerce markets" and described Play.com as a pioneer in its field.

Market research firm Datamonitor estimates that web sales in the UK will hit $58bn by 2014, with 55 million online users – ie, just about everyone in the UK.

Chancellor George Osborne is to close the Channel Islands tax loophole from next spring: the UK Treasury reckons it loses roughly £130m a year due to Channel Islands-based VAT avoidance. ®

comment icon Read 17 comments on this article alert Send corrections

Opinion

Alexandre Mesguich

Change is order of day as tech giants shift strategy gears
Partnership

Frank Jennings

Confused? No problem, we have 5, no 6, no 7... lots of standards

Chris Mellor

VC sequence could end not with a bang, but a whimper
Sad man stares glumly over boxed contents of desk. Image via shutterstock (Baranq)

Features

Roll up, roll up, get your exclusive market insights
Wile E. Coyote goes over the edge again
money trap conceptual illustration
Big boys snare the unwary with too-good-to-be-true deals
Angus Highland cow
Pet carriers not wanted for whitebox stampede