DeNA has been fighting, but the company finally announced today that the Nippon Professional Baseball Organization (NPB) approved the planned acquisition of a 66.92% stake in Yokohama BayStars, a professional baseball team.
The green light from the organization was expected to come a few weeks ago already.
DeNA plans to make the acquisition perfect on December 2. The company will then join two other big Japanese web companies that are active in pro baseball, SoftBank (which owns the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks) and Rakuten (Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles).
Owning a baseball team (and using it for branding, marketing, etc.) is a big deal in Japan. Baseball is (by far) the most popular sports in this country, just look at this slide from DeNA’s FY2011Q2 Operating Results: