Corona pandemic delays Yahoo Japan, Line merger last October

Volunteer sleuths track down Hawaii's quarantine scofflaws

TOKYO (AP) – Online services Yahoo Japan and Line Corp. said on Tuesday that the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic will cause delays that will postpone their merger beyond the planned date in October.

Z Holdings Corp., which operates Yahoo Japan, and Naver Corp. from South Korea, which holds a majority stake in Line, last year announced the merger as equivalent partners that will form a joint venture through a takeover bid.

Both sides said the legally required procedures were delayed because of the outbreak.

“Partly due to the impact of the worldwide spread of COVID19, the procedures and measures under the competition laws of some countries have not been completed,” their statement said.

A new schedule will be announced as soon as possible.

Z Holdings includes Yahoo Japan, Japan Net Bank, Gyao video content distributor, BuzzFeed Japan and ZoZo fashion e-commerce. It is also part of the Japanese technology giant SoftBank Group., Which includes solar energy and robotics.

The planned combination will create one of the largest Japanese net companies in combined sales, with retail services, advertising and mobile messaging. The move is designed to increase competitiveness in an evolving market, with potential expansion in several sectors focused on the Japanese market.


Yuri Kageyama on Twitter

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed without permission.