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Japan’s Rakuten Acquires Alpha Direct Services with Aim of Improving Logistics

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Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten (JSD:4755) announced (pdf) today that it has acquired French logistics company Alpha Direct Services for an undisclosed sum. ADS has a number of services to offer e-commerce sites, including package delivery tracking, warehousing, customer support, order management, and robotic automation.

Rakuten previously acquired France’s e-commerce service PriceMinister, which now operates under the Rakuten Group umbrella. Pierre Kosciusko-Morizet, the CEO of PriceMinister explained what this latest move means for the Rakuten subsidiary, as well as the company as a whole:

By drawing upon ADS’ market expertise and cutting-edge warehouse automation technology, developed here in France, we now have the potential to build a truly global e-commerce logistics offering from the ground up. We are excited to extend the existing support offered to local merchants selling via the Rakuten PriceMinister marketplace and beyond.

This is Rakuten’s sixth acquisition in Europe since 2010. Its previous pick-ups include Play.com in the UK, e-commerce service Tradoria in Germany, and video service Wuaki.tv in Spain.

The company also announced financial results for the third quarter of the 2012 fiscal year today, which touched upon the ADS acquisition, noting that Rakuten hopes to introduced its technology into Japan. More details about Rakuten’s logistics strategy can be found in that report (pdf).

Rakuten was also active closer to home this past week, as it launched Rakuten Malaysia (Rakuten.com.my) on November 1.

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