Yahoo Auctions in Japan

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Case Details:

Case Code : BSTR309
Case Length : 17 Pages
Period : 1999-2008
Organization : Yahoo
Pub Date : 2009
Teaching Note :Not Available
Countries : Japan
Industry : Internet & e-commerce

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Background Note

Yahoo was founded by two Stanford University Ph.D. students, Jerry Yang (Yang) and David Filo (Filo), in 1994 in Sunnyvale, California, USA. Yahoo initially started out as "Jerry and David's Guide to the World Wide Web," a website that featured a directory of other websites. In late 1994, the duo changed the name of the site to Yahoo...

Softbank Corporation
SoftBank was started by Masayoshi Son (Son) in 1981 as Japan SoftBank. Its first venture was PC software retailing. SoftBank's first client was Joshin Denki Co., one of the leading PC retailers in Japan. In 1982, Son ventured into publishing and launched two magazines - Oh!PC and Oh!MZ...

Yahoo in Japan

Yahoo Japan was incorporated in January 1996, and in April 1996, a joint venture was signed between SoftBank and Yahoo according to which both the companies agreed to develop and manage the Japanese versions of Yahoo's websites, and conduct other businesses (Refer to Table II for the objectives of Yahoo Japan). SoftBank initially held a 60% stake and Yahoo held the remaining 40% in the company...

Yahoo Japan Auctions

Though online auctions were popular across the world, they came late to the Japanese market. Initially, Yahoo Japan was not enthusiastic on offering online auction services.

Inoue was skeptical about starting online auctions as the Japanese were generally status-conscious and he doubted whether they would buy used goods from strangers. However, in April 1999, Inoue had a meeting with Yang during which they discussed eBay's impending entry into the Japanese market...

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