eBay Deals for Minority Stake in Korea's Gmarket

Company files for trade agency approval in advance of possible share purchase

by Auctiva.com staff writer
- Aug 14, 2008

eBay revealed it is in talks to buy shares in Gmarket, an Amazon-like site in Korea, which boasts more than 14 million registered users and an average of 18 million unique visitors to its site each month.

Through its eBay Ink blog, eBay confirmed it is having ongoing discussions with online shopping mall operator Interpark Corp. and its chairman, Ki Hyung Lee, about possibly acquiring their combined 37 percent interest in Seoul-based Gmarket.

"While no definitive agreement has yet been signed or reached in connection with the discussions, a voluntary preliminary filing has been made with the Korea Fair Trade Commission and preliminary approval of the KFTC is being sought," the statement reads.

According to news reports, Interpark has been looking since last year to offload Gmarket, which competes with another retail e-commerce site it operates.

Yahoo is also a part-owner of Gmarket.

If a deal is reached, it won't be eBay's first Korean venture. Since 2001, eBay has been a majority shareholder in Internet Auction Co., which is now Korea's largest online auction site.

About the Author

Auctiva staff writers constantly monitor trends and best practices of those selling on eBay and elsewhere online. They attend relevant training seminars and trade shows and regularly discuss the market with PowerSellers and other market experts.

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