eBay is indeed purchasing a controlling stake in Korean auction site Gmarket, as had been rumored earlier this week. The auction site announced Wednesday that it had offered to buy all of Gmarket's common shares for $24 a share and combine the site with its own Korean auction business. eBay is paying $1.2 billion for 67 percent of Gmarket. That stake percent includes 10 percent in the Korean auction market owned by Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) that the internet company said this evening it would sell to eBay (NSDQ: EBAY).
The deals mesh with both Yahoo and eBay's strategies. eBay has been trying to double down on its core auction business, announcing this week that it would shed website-rating service StumbleUpon and calling service Skype, and the deal will give it a stronger foothold in the world's sixth-largest e-commerce market. "This deal creates strong operational synergies between the two market leaders, offers more opportunities for sellers and enhances our ability to serve complementary consumer segment," said eBay CEO John Donahoe in a statement. New Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz, meanwhile, has said her company needs to focus.
By Joseph Tartakoff