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Softbank, Aeon to tie up in online shopping

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Telecommunications firm SoftBank Corp., Internet portal Yahoo Japan Corp. and retail giant Aeon Co. plan to tie up in online shopping, informed sources said Friday.

The tie-up of the three companies is intended to counter U.S. e-commerce giant Amazon.com Inc., which also offers online shopping services in Japan.

Yahoo Japan, an affiliate of SoftBank parent SoftBank Group Corp., and Aeon already operate their own online shopping websites, but their market presence is small compared to that of Amazon.com.

The customer bases of SoftBank and Yahoo Japan combined with Aeon’s wide-ranging product lineups and extensive distribution networks are expected to allow the three firms to launch a competitive shopping website, the sources said.

Due to the spread of online shopping, sales at conventional brick-and-mortar stores such as supermarkets and department stores have been stagnant.

Retail giant Seven & i Holdings Co. recently launched an online fresh food shopping service in cooperation with online stationery seller Askul Corp.

Online shopping mall operator Rakuten Inc. recently announced a plan to launch online retail business with supermarket chain Seiyu GK, a unit of U.S. retail giant Walmart Inc.Speech

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