Yahoo Japan Owner, Line Mull Merger

Economy

Tokyo, Nov. 14 (Jiji Press)--Yahoo Japan owner Z Holdings Corp. <4689> and free messaging app provider Line Corp. <3938> are considering business integration, a move that will create the biggest Japanese internet service group with more than 100 million users.

Z Holdings said Thursday it is in negotiations on integration with Line. Line also said it is studying possible business integration with Z Holdings as "one of measures to enhance its corporate value."

On the same day, major Japanese mobile phone service provider Softbank Corp. <9434>, the parent of Z Holdings, released a statement saying that it is discussing "various possibilities," including a merger between Z Holdings and Line.

One option under consideration is for Softbank and South Korea's Naver Corp., which owns Line, to set up a fifty-fifty joint company that would place Z Holdings under its wing and for Z Holdings to control Yahoo Japan and Line as fully owned units, according to informed sources.

The parties concerned, which share the aim of better competing with foreign information technology giants, hope to reach an agreement within this month, the sources said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press