Billionaire Son Takes on Mikitaniís Rakuten in E-Commerce War
Son, chairman of Yahoo Japan Corp. (4689), said yesterday the Internet search and shopping business will eliminate fees and make it easier for stores to open on its online shopping service competing with Mikitaniís Rakuten Inc. (4755), operator of the countryís largest Internet shopping mall.
The online battle for shops pits Rakutenís customer-fee model against Sonís portal and retail site, which got more than half of its revenue last fiscal year from advertising. Investors bet the earnings of both companies will suffer, sending Rakuten shares down a record 20 percent in Tokyo trading. Yahoo Japan plunged a record 11 percent.