Investigators from the Japanese Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission and the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office have searched the Tokyo offices of Japanese internet giant Livedoor in connection with allegations of securities exchange law violation on Livedoor’s part. The Tokyo prosecutors office believes that in 2004, Livedoor subsidiary Livedoor Marketing—once known as Value Click Japan—falsely reported information relating to the purchase of publishing company Money Life.
In addition to the search of Livedoor’s offices, a warrant was also issued to search the home of company President Takafumi Horie. A 33-year-old University of Tokyo drop-out, Horie started Livedoor in 1997 and has since built it into one of the largest internet businesses in Japan. In sharp contrast to the traditional Japanese business elite, Horie has become known for his grandiose business schemes, including the attempted buy-out of the Fuji Television Network and a failed run for Japanese parliament.
Livedoor operates 27 subsidiaries across Asia and Europe, and provides numerous services including software sales, web development, telecommunications, consulting, marketing and e-commerce. They also purchased search engine marketer Innovation Interactive, parent company of adware provider eXact Advertising in November of 2005.