Gmarket vs Skype and Stumbleupon - e-business as usual for eBay

Losing ground at home vs Amazon, eBay decides to build a new fortress in Korea, combining over two thirds of Gmarket with its Internet Auction Company there. Almost gone the Skype hype, fumbled Stumbleupon... back to core business.

Inter Park, distant third behind Gmarket and IAC (8% vs 47% and 34%) owned 34% of Gmarket, which will operate separately from IAC. Besides, Korean authorities may ask some further concessions, but they already okayed the deal.

Beyond national marketing, technological, and logistical synergies, eBay intends to build an international platform from this new local giant in the long term. Nice way of putting things for a rather defensive move : Korea will neither open the gates to Japan, nor take over eBay's operations in China and Taiwan. Maybe strengthen some positions around LA and Orange counties.

The deal will be completed by the end of H1 2009, Skype will be IPOed H1 2010, eBay will keep non-technological bubbly start ups at bay until the recession itself recedes.

* "
eBay to Expand Asian Operations Through Combination with Gmarket, Korea's Largest Online Marketplace" (eBay - 20090416)

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