Any eBay shareholders who were less than thrilled about eBay's $1.2 billion acquisition of Gmarket last June may feel better after hearing about a new plan that involves the property. eBay announced late yesterday that it intends to work with Gmarket's founder to expand Gmarket's presence in Japan and Singapore.
This won't be entirely eBay's show; the effort will come in the form of a fresh joint venture in which eBay will have a 49 percent stake. Young Bae Ku, the founder of Gmarket, will then control the other 51 percent.
Still, eBay feels the arrangement is more than satisfactory. Lorrie Norrington, president of eBay Marketplaces, said in a statement that it should "enhance our long-term position and growth in the region."
Norrington also argued, "This joint venture is a sign of our continued commitment to help grow and lead ecommerce across Asia by offering more opportunities for sellers and extraordinary buying experiences for consumers."
(Another big sign came two months ago when PayPal decided to add 1,000 jobs in Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan, if anyone's interested in keeping score.)
Anyway, it remains unknown when eBay will start benefiting from the new joint venture, as no target dates related to its launch have been shared.