Hiroshi Mikitani

Rakuten agreed to buy U.S. rebates website Ebates in Japan's largest e-commerce deal on record as the operator of the country's biggest online mall seeks overseas growth through acquisitions. Rakuten will pay about $1 billion for all of Ebates, it said in a regulatory filing. San Francisco-based Ebates offers cash rebates to customers who buy products from the website's retail partners. The deal comes after Rakuten has announced 18 acquisitions since the start of last year, and the cybermall operator said in June it's open to more large-scale buys following its bond debut. 

Rakuten, a Japanese e-commerce company, is leading a $100 million investment in Pinterest, with participation from existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, Bessemer Venture Partners and FirstMark Capital, as well as a number of angel investors. Many people may still be unfamiliar with the Rakuten brand, but it's an international e-commerce powerhouse that sees itself competing with Amazon.com. Rakuten owns Buy.com, Rakuten Ichiba in Japan, PriceMinister in France, Play.com in the U.K., Tradoria in Germany, Rakuten Brazil, Rakuten Taiwan, TARAD in Thailand and Rakuten Belanja Online in Indonesia, as well as e-book publisher Kobo.

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