• Kyodo News

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Tokyo Broadcasting System Inc. on Tuesday asked Rakuten Inc. to immediately stop soliciting proxies from TBS shareholders for the broadcaster’s general shareholders’ meeting at the end of June.

The broadcaster said it sent a written request to the leading online shopping-mall operator to stop asking for proxies because it said the wording in the solicitation letter is confusing and could mislead TBS shareholders, adding that it has received a number of inquiries from its shareholders about the letter.

Rakuten, which holds a 19.86 percent TBS stake, has been trying to get proxy votes to force management to implement its proposals, including the appointment of Rakuten President Hiroshi Mikitani as a TBS outside board member.

Rakuten has said it would try to raise its stake to more than 20 percent and turn the broadcaster into an equity-method affiliate to cement its ties with TBS and offer services blending their Internet and broadcasting businesses.

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