Livedoor and Fuji TV take over battle via Japan Radio

New economy player Livedoor attempts takeover of “old economy” media conglomerate Fuji Television Group

Livedoor and Fuji TV: Takafumi Horie “Horiemon” attempts to exploit an overlooked loophole in Fuji Televisions shareholder structure to gain control of the very much larger Fuji media group

Livedoor and Fuji TV: New economy (Livedoor) is knocking at the door of old economy (Fuji-TV) (for details see our “Japan’s Media” report):

Fuji Television headquarters building in Odaiba
Fuji Television headquarters building in Odaiba

Below is an outline of the take-over battle raging right now. The complex cross-shareholding is puzzling, and the reason for it is surprising to the uninitiated: a long time ago there was no radio and no TV, only newspapers. Radio in Japan was born as babies of newspaper companies, and TV stations were born as babies of the Radio stations. So at the beginning Fuji-TV was a tiny in-company venture subsidiary of Japan-Radio (Nihon Hosou). The cross-share holding structure dates from these pioneering days of TV in Japan and has not been touched since – until Livedoor’s Takafumi Horie came along.

Schematics of Livedoor's attempt to take control of Fuji Television Media Group via the radio station Nihon Hosou
Schematics of Livedoor’s attempt to take control of Fuji Television Media Group via the radio station Nihon Hosou

Takafumi Horie’s nickname in Japan is Horiemon. Why? Because many people think that Takafumi Horie looks similar to Japan’s cartoon character Doraemon.

By the way: some media falsely report that Horie is the founder of Livedoor. This is not the case. Horie-san founded a website design company called “Livin’ On the EDGE Inc” in 1996, later renamed EDGE, and many other companies. In 2002 he acquired the free email/ISP company Livedoor.

This battle stimulated us to release our “Japan Media” report.

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