Japanese e-Commerce giant Rakuten, which owns full service agency Rakuten Research, is to acquire Tokyo-based panel operator and online sampling and data collection firm AIP Corporation. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.
AIP, which is headquartered in Tokyo and has offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Seoul, New York, London, India, Jakarta and Singapore, offers proprietary panels across fifteen markets, plus a range of services such as in-depth interviews, focus groups, telephone interviewing, DP and translation.
Through the acquisition, AIP will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Rakuten, whose research arm was launched in 2002, and now offers access to a proprietary panel of 2.3 million Japanese consumers who have signed up to use parent company Rakuten's services. Rakuten Research also offers offline research and MROCs with a focus on online research.
In a statement, Rakuten said that the deal will strengthen Rakuten Research's international market research offerings for Japanese clients, while helping those firms looking to expand into other countries through the combination of its domestic panel in Japan with the large-scale panels AIP holds in Asia. The statement concluded: 'By joining the Rakuten Group, AIP will be able to provide its existing clients in countries all over the world with the market research services including Rakuten Research's panel.'
Web sites: www.research.rakuten.co.jp and www.aip-global.com .
All articles 2006-20 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas unless otherwise stated.