Tokyo-based e-commerce company Rakuten Monday confirmed it would buy San Francisco-based Ebates.com for $1 billion.
Through the Ebates website, consumers can earn cash rebates from purchases at a variety of website and stores, including Amazon, Best Buy, Home Depot, and department stores. Last year, 2.5 million Ebates members spent some $2.2 million shopping via the site.
Ebates runs its service in the U.S., Canada, Russia, China, and South Korea, and will continue to operate from its San Francisco headquarters after the deal closes in about a month.
Rakuten has been trying to move beyond its Japan base for a while now. It has acquired e-commerce site Buy.com, Toronto-based e-book reader and website Kobo, mobile shopping app Slice, and has a stake in Pinterest and other businesses. Wall Street frowned at this news, however, with analysts saying investors are skeptical that Rakuten can afford to take on Amazon in the U.S. this way.