Yahoo Auctions in Japan

Yahoo Auctions in Japan
Case Code: BSTR309
Case Length: 17 Pages
Period: 1999-2008
Pub Date: 2009
Teaching Note: Not Available
Price: Rs.300
Organization: Yahoo
Industry: Internet & e-commerce
Countries: Japan
Themes: E-commerce
Yahoo Auctions in Japan
Abstract Case Intro 1 Case Intro 2 Excerpts

"The auction business is doing very well, and no other portal is as popular as Yahoo."

- Ben Wedmore, Analyst, HSBC Securities Japan, in 2003.

"Yahoo Japan is synonymous with e-auctions. No one can approach it."

- Masashi Hagihara, President, NetRatings, in 2003.


In April 2008, Yahoo! Japan Corporation (Yahoo Japan), the largest integrated information portal in Japan, reported profits for the eleventh consecutive year. For the year ending March 31, 2008, Yahoo Japan recorded a net income of ¥ 62.6 billion (US$ 598 million). Net sales were recorded at ¥ 262.2 billion, a growth of 23.3% over the previous year.

Yahoo Japan was incorporated in 1996 as a joint venture between US-based Yahoo! Inc. (Yahoo) and Japan-based SoftBank Corporation (SoftBank) to manage the Japanese versions of the Yahoo websites. Yahoo Japan provided entertainment, Internet shopping, e-mail, search, and information listing services in Japan. As of August 2007, Yahoo Japan's sites were the leading websites in Japan as per comScore World Metrix, with more than 41 million visitors.

One of the most popular services that Yahoo Japan provided was online auctions. It started online auctions in September 1999 and was the first website to introduce auctions in Japan. From the beginning, Yahoo Japan Auctions was highly successful and competitors like eBay had to retreat from the market unable to compete with the leader.

According to NetView Audience Measurement Service of NetRatings Japan Inc. (NetRatings) which ranked major portals on the basis of total time spent by the users, Yahoo Japan was the leading website in Japan and users spent more than three and half hours per month (in July 2007) on an average on it. The users spent 26% of this time on Yahoo Japan Auctions, compared to 15% on the top page...

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