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Rakuten, Japan’s largest internet retailer, confirmed on Thursday that it was considering becoming Japan’s fourth mobile carrier following local media reports to that effect.

The company said in a short stock exchange statement that it “is true that Rakuten, Inc. is considering to enter” Japan’s mobile network operator business, which is currently dominated by the likes of NTT DoCoMo and Softbank.

The statement came after business newswire Nikkei reported Rakuten was planning to apply by as early as January to the Japanese government to enter the sector and intended to invest as much as ¥600bn ($5.3bn) in mobile network infrastructure.

The statement on Thursday, however, did not address the details of the Nikkei report, saying only that “if there are facts needed to be disclosed, Rakuten, Inc. will do so in a timely and appropriate manner.”

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