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.
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.
The following figure compares Sales (Financial year ending March 31, 2004), Net profits after taxes(Financial year ending March 31, 2004), and market capitalization (as of February 17, 2005) for DoCoMo, KDDI and Vodafone (in each case consolidated for the global company):