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IT Celebrity Steps into Downfall

1, 17. 2006

At the headquarters of Internet services company Livedoor Co., the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office and the Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission jointly launched a massive search on Jan. 16, on allegation of violating the Securities and Exchange Law by spreading false information in order to boost share prices. A subsidiary of the company allegedly made false announcements on corporate acquisition and inflated its profits in financial statements. It is quite unusual that investigations last throughout the night. Including this charge, prosecutors are thought to set out to clear up the IT firm's suspected opaque business operations. Livedoor President Takafumi Horie is to face difficulties, as the investigation team is likely to pursue whether he was involved in the alleged charges. Horie has been hailed as IT celebrity for making a rapid growth of the company through M&A (mergers and acquisitions) and attempting to dominate Fuji Television Network Inc. Most companies, to be raided by the special investigation teams on suspicion of violating the Securities and Exchange Law, are forced into delisting.

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