Rakuten Buys OverDrive

Kobo Rakuten OverDrive ebooks librariesThe company that Kobo’s former head once called the “Amazon of Japan” significantly enlarges its ebook business by scooping up OverDrive in a $410 million deal announced yesterday.

Acquiring the library distributor is Rakuten’s latest major push into the digital content space, one of three key growth areas the Japan-based company says it’s targeting.

Rakuten bought Kobo in 2011 for $315 million.

Announcing the deal yesterday, Rakuten highlights the global scope of its ambitions, saying the purchase positions OverDrive to “take advantage of the global reach, scale and technologies” Rakuten boasts worldwide.


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