EBay said it will buy e-commerce service provider GSI Commerce for $1.96 billion in cash to build up its online marketplaces, as it ramps up its battle with Amazon.com. GSI is attractive to eBay because of its expertise in taking customer orders, managing them and filling them, which also happens to be an area of strength for Amazon. GSI, which owns Web businesses such as Rue La La and ShopRunner, also provides retailers such as Aeropostale and TJX’s Marshalls chains with technology, payment processing and customer care services for their e-commerce sites.
There will be no iPhone 5 announcement at Apple’s 2011 Worldwide Developers Conference in June, according to The Wall Street Journal’s John Paczkowski. Instead, we should expect a software event, Paczkowski writes, quoting an Apple’s WWDC press release: “If you are an iOS or Mac OS X software developer, this is the event that you do not want to miss.” He goes on to speculate that the delay may be due to Apple timing the release of a 4G LTE-compatible iPhone 5 with AT&T’s expected roll-out of its 4G LTE networks mid year.
Apple “piled another brick onto the ramparts of its walled garden,” only considering apps that are sold through the Mac App Store for this year’s Apple Design Awards, The Register’s Rik Myslewski writes. “This move makes it clear that Apple is enforcing a two-tiered status for Mac OS X apps: those it allows into the store, and those that remain outside it,” Myslewski adds.
The U.S. and Europe are converging in their Web privacy positions, partly through intensive meetings in recent months between regulators from Washington and Brussels, writes Eva Dou. Final legislative proposals expected from the U.S. in June or July and from the EU later this year. Europe has wanted strict measures to protect individuals privacy while the U.S. has tended to prefer giving companies responsibility for policing themselves, according to Dou.
Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey is returning to the company as executive chairman, CEO Dick Costolo announced. Dorsey, who co-founded Twitter in 2006 along with Evan Williams and Biz Stone, and served as its first CEO until being replaced by Williams in 2008, will remain CEO of Square, the mobile payment startup he co-founded in 2009. Square said in a statement that it would remain Dorsey’s top priority.