Seven years ago eBay entered the Japanese market. Two years later it was forced to retreat, tail firmly between its legs, unable to compete in a country where theonline auction market was dominated by Yahoo Japan. But what a difference time makes. Now the pair of titans have agreed to work together in the onlineauction business in Japan, according to an Associated Press story, in a move that will make it easier for Japanese to buy goods from elsewhere and for internationalconsumers to get their hands on Japanese items. Yahoo has said that Japanese will be able to bid on eBay items via the Yahoo auction site by March, at the new Sekaimon site, to be run by NetPrice. A few months after that, a special eBay site will allow outsiders to bid on items up forgrabs on Yahoo Japan’s auction site. Language has always been a major problem, and the companies say they will be able to bridge that, benefiting consumers everywhere. Although Yahoodominates the Japanese online auction market, in others parts of the world it’s dwarfed by eBay. For eBay this marks another Asian partnership. It already has a joint venture in Chinaand is planning another in Thailand, with the possibility of a further venture in Vietnam.
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