Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Going once...

One rationale given by eBay management for the Skype acquisition was that Skype's penetration in certain markets was greater than eBay had been able to achieve, thus Skype could be used as a cross-marketing tool for expanding eBay's footprint. Japan was given as a key example. Well, the cross-sell just got a bit harder, as DoCoMo has announced a JV with homegrown auction site Rakuten. DoCoMo's subscriber base in Japan is nearly as large as that of Skype itself, and it has its own highly successful payment system in place, which has the added advantage of being useful for far more than online transactions. I don't know how many more of these single market responses to eBay/Skype we can expect, but on the surface this one has a number of strengths which definitely make it worthy of attention.

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