Merger of Ebay's S.Korean units gets regulatory nod

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 05, 2011 8:53 AM

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea's antitrust watchdog said Tuesday it had approved U.S. online auctioneer eBay Inc's move to merge its two e-commerce units in the country.

"We decided to approve the merger without conditions, concluding that it will not limit competition," the Fair Trade Commission said in a statement.

The two units, eBay Auction Co., Ltd and Gmarket, which control a combined 72 percent of the domestic e-commerce market, will continue to be run separately, an Auction official said.

EBay, which bought Auction in 2001, purchased its bigger domestic rival Gmarket in 2009 for 1.4 trillion Korean won ($1.3 billion).

Gmarket and Auction compete with 11st, a unit of SK Telecom, the country's top mobile carrier, and InterPark Corp. ($1 = 1063.450 Korean Won)

(Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin)