EBay has agreed to acquire GSI Commerce, an interactive marketing and e-commerce enablement firm, for an estimated $2.4 billion or $29.25 per share. With the move eBay becomes a major player in digital marketing services, including creative, analytics and email services.
GSI Commerce is most often associated with e-commerce technology and fulfillment, but over the past two years it has steadily built up marketing offerings. The marketing services group, led by former Gannett Chief Digital Officer Chris Saridakis, consists of analytics platform ClearSaleing, email marketing provider eDialog, performance-based marketing agency True Action, and retargeting firm FetchBack. Those are in addition to mobile marketing, database marketing, and affiliate marketing holdings.
Additionally GSI Commerce operates several consumer products, including e-commerce destination Rue La La and discount shopping service Shop Runner. As part of its transaction, eBay will sell 70 percent of its ownership stake in those two businesses and 100 percent of its licensed sports merchandise business. The divested assets will be sold to a newly created holding company, to be led by GSI founder and CEO Michael Rubin.
"Combined with eBay Marketplaces and PayPal, we believe GSI will enhance our position as the leading strategic global commerce partner of choice for retailers and brands of all sizes," said eBay CEO John Donahoe in a statement.
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Until March 2012, Zach Rodgers was managing editor of ClickZ's award-winning coverage of news and trends in digital marketing. He reported on the rise of web companies, data markets, ad technologies, and government Internet policy, among other subjects.