Japanese TV Company Puts Ball in Stalker’s Court

25 November 2005

Japanese television company Tokyo Broadcasting System has moved to head off hostile takeover maneuvers by internet upstart Rakuten.

TBS says it will commit to business tie-ups with the online shopping firm, but will not agree to management integration within a new holding company.

It also wants Rakuten to reduce its 19.09% stake in TBS or freeze voting rights with a promise not to further increase its shareholding. The offer is unlikely to tempt the internet company, which is aiming to create a "world class" media empire.

Rakuten chairman/ceo Hiroshi Mikitani is keen to ally with TBS to add internet TV programming to his already extensive offering. His vision is to give his 35 million customers points for watching TBS programs and commercials, while allowing TBS viewers to communicate with each other through the site.

Data sourced from Asahi Shimbun Online; additional content by WARC staff