By  on September 24, 2010

PARIS — Louis Vuitton and Rakuten Auction Inc., Japan’s leading online auction site, signed a “memorandum of understanding” to prevent counterfeit Vuitton goods from appearing on the Web site.

“Japan is our first market in the world,” Yves Carcelle, chairman and chief executive officer of Louis Vuitton, told a press conference here. Carcelle stressed the importance of protecting its innovations in Japan.

“The agreement is fundamental, not just for the growth of Rakuten, but online sales worldwide,” said Hiroshi Mikitani, founder and ceo of Rakuten Inc., which controls Rakuten Auction.

Among the top 10 Internet companies worldwide with around 65 million users, Rakuten registered 2009 sales of $3.2 billion and has posted 20 percent growth annually. Earlier this year, Rakuten purchased PriceMinister SA, one of France’s leading online players.

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