SK Telecom not selling stake in e-commerce unit to Amazon

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Barcelona: A digital version of South Korea's national flag hangs at the Mobile World Congress 2018 under way in Barcelona, Spain, on Feb. 28, 2018, in this press pool photo. Mobile carrier SK Telecom displayed the flag for the March 1 Independence Movement Day, commemorated in Korea as the beginning of the national movement against Japanese colonial rule.(Yonhap/IANS)

SK Telecom, a major mobile carrier, denied a news report on Monday that it is planning to sell a stake in its e-commerce unit 11Street to ecommerce giant Amazon in a bid to bolster its online retail business.

Local media had earlier reported that Amazon will exercise its right to acquire a 30 percent stake in 11Street, and that the US retailer could acquire up to a 50 percent stake in the South Korean e-commerce company.

SK Telecom and Amazon strengthened ties in November last year to collaborate in e-commerce and made an agreement whereby the U.S. tech giant has the right to acquire a stake in 11Street, reports Yonhap news agency.

“We are collaborating to launch a service so that Amazon products can be directly purchased within 11Street,” SK Telecom said in a statement. “There is no ongoing matter regarding a stake transfer.”

The wireless carrier currently owns an 80 percent stake in 11Street and is planning an initial public offering for the online retailer next year.

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