£25 Million Deal
With over 14 million registered users, Play.com has been acquired by Japan's e-commerce operator Rakuten, for a reported cash deal of £25 million. Rakuten are also parent company of the LinkShare Affiliate Network, who were acquired by the Japanese e-commerce giant in 2005.
Play.com, one of the UK's biggest e-tailers, has been bought presumably to enhance Rakuten's presence in the UK market, with the potential of expanding Play.com's business model into wider markets.
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."
The Play.com affiliate programme has changed hands over its affiliate history, and currently resides on the Affiliate Window network.