eBay continues to look for growth in Asia: It’s looking to buy as much as 37% of Gmarket, a Korean auction site/Internet retailer, the Wall Street Journal reports. Gmarket (GMKT) shares jumped 14.3% today to $25.36; 37% of its $1.27 billion market cap would be worth about $470 million.
U.S. Internet giants, including Google (GOOG) and Yahoo (YHOO), have found it particularly tough to unseat the local competition in Asia, so in many cases, it’s made sense to join with — or acquire — local companies. In June, eBay partnered with a Vietnamese auction site to create a JV called ChoDienTu.vn, replacing eBay’s eBay.vn.
The Korean Fair Trade Commission still has to approve the deal, but if they do, eBay would have a bigger stake in Gmarket than Yahoo, which owns 10%.
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