The company, well known as an online auction site, announced on Monday that it has agreed to , a company that runs online stores for retailers, for about $2.4 billion. With this one purchase, eBay gains more than 180 retail customers and, hopefully, a chance to grow enough to go toe-to-toe with , a top-rate player in the e-commerce business.
"Technology is changing how consumers shop, and retailers and brands are changing how they compete," John Donahoe, eBay president and CEO, said in a statement. "The acquisition of GSI...will significantly strengthen our ability to connect buyers and sellers worldwide."
Pennsylvania-based GSI processes online payments, fulfills orders and manages customer service for clients such as Timberland, Kate Spade and Ralph Lauren.
eBay is considered a steady player, but not necessarily a booming Internet business. Giving individuals and smaller businesses a place to auction off anything from pocket books to bicycles and even a household of belongings, the company hasn't risen to the realm of Amazon, which works with major retailers to sell their wares at a fixed price.
"eBay has to expand or it will be trivialized," said Rob Enderle, an analyst with the Enderle Group. "They lost their way some time ago and seem to be struggling to get back on track. They are still big enough to be relevant, but they just don't seem to understand how to ensure that outcome."