• Kyodo

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Rakuten Inc. President Hiroshi Mikitani on Saturday played down media reports that favor his company over Livedoor Co. as the firm that will be selected to create a new baseball team from next season.

“They will decide on one of us. I read newspapers (that say we are favored) but until we actually lift up the lid we won’t know what’s going to happen,” said Mikitani, who was viewing a J. League match at Oita Stadium Big Eye between Vissel Kobe, which he operates through a separate company, and Oita Trinita.

Rakuten, Japan’s largest Internet shopping mall operator, is seen to hold and edge over Internet services provider Livedoor because of Mikitani’s experience in running a sports team.

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