Yahoo Buys Traction in South Korea

After signing a pact last week to share technologies for a farther reach, eBay and Yahoo are set to face off in South Korea.

Yahoo announced it has acquired a 10 percent stake in Gmarket, the
No. 2 Internet retailer in South Korea.

Yahoo was not immediately available for comment.

“Yahoo is nothing if not pragmatic,” said Mike McGuire of Gartner. No
one at eBay was under the allusion that last week’s agreement marked a
competitive cease fire between the two Internet players.

While financial terms were not disclosed, Yahoo reportedly paid $60
million for the stake in the online retailer.

Yahoo purchased the stake in Gmarket from U.S.-based
venture capital firm Oak Investment Partners, which, with 29 percent,
is the second-largest investor in the online retailer.

South Korean Internet company Interpark is the largest shareholder with 33.74

EBay is South Korea’s top online retailer in
terms of sales, according to Patti Freeman Evans of JupiterResearch.
South Korea has a high level of online purchasing, according to Evans, who added that Japan was Yahoo’s strongest Asian foothold prior to the Gmarket deal.

EBay will watch with
interest whether Yahoo succeeds in this new market, according to Evans.

EBay’s main focus is China, where it competes against Alibaba, a Chinese auction firm that Yahoo paid $1 billion for a 40 percent stake in Alibaba.

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