Auctions on your Cellphone: Rakuten & DoCoMo form mobile bid alliance

Chris Davies - Nov 13, 2006

Blimey, here’s a happy looking girl!  Could it be that she’s heard the news that online shopping giant Rakuten Inc. (who appear to be sponsoring her snazzy, if seasonally-unsuitable, uniform) has partnered up with carrier NTT DoCoMo to offer online cellphone and PC auctions in Japan?  From Monday, DoCoMo subscribers will be able to bid for computers from the comfort of their own cellphones, while come November 20th there’ll be cellphones themselves auctioned off.

It’s all part of a new venture, set up by Rakuten, of which DoCoMo will take a 40% share worth 4.2 billion Yen ($36m) that not only comprises auctions but a social network service too.  Leveraging DoCoMo’s existing “wallet phone” services, which allows subscribers to pay using their cellphone as a debit or credit card, it challenges Japan’s biggest online auction provider Yahoo Japan Corp.

Japan’s DoCoMo, Rakuten plan online auctions [Reuters]


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