updated 6/7/2006 8:52:16 AM ET 2006-06-07T12:52:16

Yahoo Inc. will pay $60 million to acquire an approximately 10 percent stake in South Korean e-commerce provider GMarket Inc., a Yahoo spokeswoman said Thursday.

Yahoo said in a press release that it will purchase the stake from venture capital firm Oak Investment Partners, which it said is the only significant outside institutional investor in Gmarket.

“What we don’t have in Korea is a leadership position in e-commerce auctions,” Yahoo’s Helena Maus, based at the company’s headquarters in Sunnyvale, Calif. said in a telephone interview. “GMarket’s leadership position in Korea would be valuable to us.”

Foreign Internet companies such as Google Inc. and Yahoo are trying to raise their profiles in South Korea, one of the world’s most wired nations, where domestic companies including NHN Corp.’s Naver Web site dominate the search-engine field.

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