Livedoor Co. has increased its stake in Nippon Broadcasting System Inc. to more than 45 percent in terms of voting rights, Livedoor sources said Friday.

The figure compares with 42.5 percent as of Feb. 23, according to a report submitted to the Finance Ministry’s Kanto Local Finance Bureau by the Internet service provider.

Livedoor is involved in a battle with Fuji Television Network Inc. for a controlling stake in Nippon Broadcasting.

Fuji TV is trying to secure a stake of more than 25 percent in Nippon Broadcasting through an ongoing public tender offer. The two companies belong to the Fujisankei Communications Group, and Nippon Broadcasting is Fuji TV’s biggest shareholder.

Under the Commercial Code, a stake of more than 25 percent would enable Fuji TV to prevent Livedoor from controlling the TV company through Nippon Broadcasting as the radio broadcaster would be unable to exercise its voting rights in Fuji TV.

Nippon Broadcasting announced last week that it would issue warrants to Fuji TV for up to 47.2 million new shares in a bid to thwart Livedoor’s takeover bid.

Review laws: lobbyist

Livedoor Co.’s surprise acquisition of a large equity stake in a radio broadcaster has given Japan the chance to review its mergers-and-acquisitions laws, the chairman of a U.S. business lobby in Tokyo said Friday.

The Internet service provider acquired a stake of nearly 30 percent in Nippon Broadcasting System Inc. in a single day in premarket trading last month. The government is now drafting a bill to allow rules for public tender offers to be applied to the acquisition of a one-third or greater stake in a company via off-hours trade in Japan.

Livedoor’s move raised awareness among the Japanese public that there are many areas of the Securities and Exchange Law that should be reviewed and improved, according to Robert Grondine, chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan.

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