Yahoo Japan, eBay to Link Up Auction Services

Yahoo Japan and U.S. rival eBay said on Tuesday they would link up their auction sites to make cross-border bidding easier.

The two firms' auction sites, which together have about 4 trillion yen (US$36.22 billion) in annual successful bids, will first launch a Japanese-language site on which Yahoo Japan users can bid for eBay items, spokesmen from the two firms said.

Yahoo Japan is roughly one-third owned by Yahoo and 40 percent owned by Softbank Corp.

The two firms will introduce the site, called Sekaimon or "gateway to the world" at a news conference at 11 a.m. local time in Tokyo. It address is

eBay , which pulled out of the Japanese market in 2002, has been seeking local partners to boost its Asia operations in the face of mounting competition.

In China, it is working on a joint venture with Tom Group's Tom Online to compete against In Thailand it plans to launch a joint site with domestic partner Sanook.

Yahoo Japan said Shop Airlines, a unit of NetPrice, will manage the site, payment services, customs clearance and delivery.