Rakuten and NTT DoCoMo to Form Strategic Alliance in Internet Auction Services


TOKYO, JAPAN, October 11, 2005 --- Rakuten, Inc., a leading Japanese e-commerce company, and NTT DoCoMo, Inc., Japan's dominant mobile operator, today announced that they will form a business and capital alliance to provide Internet auction services over both mobile phones and PCs.

Under the agreement, Rakuten will spin off a part of its Internet auction business as the newly established Rakuten Auction, Inc. on December 1. On December 16, DoCoMo will acquire 40% of Rakuten Auction's common shares for approximately 4.2 billion yen through investment in Rakuten Auction and transfer of Rakuten's shares to DoCoMo.

Rakuten Auction will take over Rakuten's PC-based auction service, Rakuten Flea Market, in which individuals can list items for sale. Rakuten Flea Market will be linked with the parent company's Rakuten Super Auction, in which shoppers can bid for items sold by some 13,800 merchants (as of the end of September) in the Rakuten Ichiba Internet mall.

Rakuten Auction will expand its Internet auction service to allow DoCoMo customers to participate using their mobile phones. The start date of the mobile auction service has not been determined. In addition, Rakuten Auction plans to develop other services in the Internet auction field.

The agreement will enable the companies to mutually leverage complimentary strengths, namely, DoCoMo's expertise in i-mode® and Rakuten's expertise in the Internet auction business. In addition, Rakuten will expand its auction business through mobile Internet phones given increasing demand for DoCoMo's popular 3G service, while DoCoMo will further diversify its revenue streams by gaining a service not tied to communications traffic.

About Rakuten, Inc. (as of end of December 2004)
Name of Company Rakuten, Inc.
Services Internet shopping mall operator
Founded February 7, 1997
Address Roppongi 6-10-1, Minato-ku, Tokyo
President Hiroshi Mikitani
Capital 54,059,000,000 yen
Total Number of Issued Shares 1,181,674.1 shares
Employees 599

About Rakuten Auction, Inc.
Name of the Company Rakuten Auction, Inc.
Services Internet auction services for individuals
To be founded December 1, 2005
Address Roppongi 6-10-1, Minato-ku, Tokyo
President Hiroshi Mikitani
Capital 150,000,000 yen (1,650,000,000 yen after capital increase on December 16, 2005)
Employees 15 (tentative)

About NTT DoCoMo, Inc.
NTT DoCoMo is the world's leading mobile communications company, serving more than 50 million customers. The company offers a wide variety of leading-edge mobile multimedia services, including i-mode® which provides e-mail and Internet access to over 45 million subscribers as the world's most popular mobile Internet service, and FOMA®, launched in 2001 as the world's first 3G mobile service based on W-CDMA. In addition to wholly owned subsidiaries in Europe, North America and Asia, the company is expanding its global reach through strategic alliances with mobile and multimedia service providers in Asia-Pacific and Europe.
NTT DoCoMo is listed on the Tokyo (9437), London (NDCM) and New York (DCM) stock exchanges. For more information, visit www.docomo.ne.jp/english.

i-mode and FOMA are trademarks or registered trademarks of NTT DoCoMo, Inc. in Japan and other countries.
NTT DoCoMo's FOMA service is only available to subscribers in Japan.

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