By  on February 14, 2014

TOKYO Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten said Friday it is buying voice call and messaging service provider Viber for $900 million.

The deal is part of Rakuten's diversification strategy beyond retail into the realm of digital content and services. In 2012, it bought e-reader manufacturer Kobo Inc. and Europe-based video-on-demand and streaming service Wuaki.tv. In September, it bought Viki, a video website similar to Hulu, that features international television shows and movies.

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