Sat, Oct 20, 2012 - Page 14 News List

Yahoo set to close struggling South Korean Web arm

AP, SEOUL

Yahoo Inc said it is closing its South Korean Web portal and an Internet advertising business, cutting its losses in a market where it has struggled for more than a decade.

Yahoo’s South Korea unit said yesterday its Seoul office, with more than 200 employees, would close by the end of the year. The decision comes after former Google executive Marissa Mayer took the helm at the struggling US Internet company in July.

The closure of the South Korean arm is part of efforts to “create a stronger global business by realigning resources,” Yahoo Korea said in a statement.

Since entering South Korea in 1997, Yahoo has operated a namesake portal and an Internet advertising company, Overture Korea.

Yahoo’s South Korean market share has become negligible in recent years as users flocked to Naver, Daum and other portals operated by South Korean firms.

Yahoo Korea was also hurt by the rapid adoption of smartphones and mobile Internet, which made it more difficult to attract advertisers to Web portals designed for desktop PCs. Overture Korea also failed to renew key advertising deals.

Yahoo has faced stiff competition from Google and Facebook, failing to lift advertising revenues, despite many firms increasing online marketing budgets.

The firm has replaced two chief executives in a year.

A Yahoo Korea official said the company does not plan to close any other overseas businesses.

The Sunnyvale, California-based company is scheduled to release its third-quarter earnings on Monday. Yahoo Korea is wholly owned by its US parent company.

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