Online auction site eBay is bidding to buy online commerce site GSI Commerce for 2.4 billion dollars as it tries to challenge Amazon’s dominance of order fulfillment for large retailers, the companies announced Monday.
While little known to most eBay clients, GSI is an online commerce giant that operates online businesses for 180 large retailers through its five US and two international fulfillment centres.

The deal with eBay prices the company’s shares at 29.25 dollars each, a 50-per-cent premium over the company’s closing price prior to the announcement of the deal. Under the terms of the transaction, GSI has until May 6 to solicit better offers from other companies although eBay has the right to match and superior proposal.

“We intend to lead the next generation of commerce innovation,” said eBay President and chief executive John Donahue. “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.”