June 08, 2021 11:22
Retail giants Lotte and Shinsegae are bidding against each other to take over eBay Korea, which operates online shopping malls Auction and Gmarket.
According to industry insiders, Lotte Shopping and Shinsegae's E-Mart had both submitted letters of intent before the noon deadline on Monday. E-Mart has formed a consortium with Naver in which the portal operator will have a 10 to 20 percent stake.
Two other potential bidders, SK Telecom and MBK, did not in the end submit their letters of intent. MBK in a statement said, "Though we didn't submit a letter of intent today, we're watching it with interest."
Despite their lead in offline retail, Lotte and Shinsegae have performed poorly in the e-commerce market, lagging behind Naver and Coupang.
Naver has an 18 percent share of the online shopping market and Coupang 13 percent, compared to Lotte's five percent and Shinsegae's three percent. If either of them acquires eBay Korea with its 12 percent market share, they would immediately rise to second place in the market.
The preferred bidder will be announced next week.
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