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South Korea’s Retail Giants Bid for EBay Korea

EBay headquarters. Reuters.

Shinsegae and Lotte Shopping have submitted their bids to buy the country’s third largest e-tailer, sources told Yonhap.

While the two firms submitted their letters of intent for eBay Korea, other players named in the lead-up to the mega deal, mobile carrier SK Telecom and private equity firm MBK Partners, have dropped out, the sources said.

EBay’s Korean arm makes up around 11 percent of its overall business and has been up for sale since last year. The company has an estimated 12 percent share of Korea’s e-commerce market, which has heated up in the wake of Covid-19 with the likes of Coupang, Naver and more angling for a bigger slice of the lucrative, growing industry.

Holding 5 percent and 3 percent stakes of that market respectively, Lotte and Shinsegae have their roots in brick-and-mortar retail; a winning bid for eBay Korea could give either a major edge.

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