Japan's Rakuten, KDDI to tie up: report

A woman pushing a pram walks in front of a Rakuten Cafe store at a shopping district in Tokyo August 4, 2014. REUTERS/Yuya Shino/File Photo

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese e-commerce firm Rakuten Inc, which is set to launch a new mobile phone service, will partner with rival KDDI Corp in mobile payments and infrastructure, the Nikkei said on Thursday.

The government has backed Rakuten’s entry into mobile services, saying increased competition will benefit consumers. A tie-up between Rakuten and KDDI could put pressure on the top two players, NTT DoCoMo Inc and SoftBank Group Corp.

A KDDI spokeswoman declined to comment. Rakuten officials were not immediately available for comment.

Reporting by Ayai Tomisawa and Sam Nussey; Editing by Clarence Fernandez