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Yahoo's Taiwanese blog assault approved

Purchase of Wretch given go-ahead

A purchase of popular Taiwanese blog site Wretch.cc by Yahoo Taiwan will not adversely affect competition in the local internet market, Taiwan's Fair Trade Commission has ruled, paving the way for the completion of the deal.

Rivals of Yahoo Taiwan, which operates the most popular portal and online auction site on the island, had petitioned the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) to stop the acquisition on the grounds that it would give Yahoo Taiwan the power to control internet advertising rates. They had also argued that Yahoo Taiwan already holds a large share of the local internet market, and that the deal would help it consolidate its hold on auction activity.

But the FTC found that Yahoo Taiwan's share of the local internet market, estimated at between 57 percent and 59.54 percent, will rise by only 1.75 percent at most from the purchase of Wretch.cc, and that their businesses do not overlap. Wretch.cc, which allows users to post pictures and open blogs and video blogs, does not engage in any kind of auction activity.

The ruling removes the last major hurdle to a deal between the two companies. Local reports value the deal at NT$700 million (£11m), but Yahoo Taiwan has not revealed the figure and declines to comment on the actual amount.

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