If you can't beat 'em, buy 'em. Amazon is shelling out about $900 million in cash and stock to purchase rival online retailer Zappos, reports TechCrunch. Zappos specializes in shoes, and the investment—the biggest in Amazon's 14-year history—suggests Jeff Bezos is looking to shore up his company's less-than-stellar performance in the enormous online apparel category, notes the Wall Street Journal.
Amazon launched its own footwear site, Endless.com, a few years ago to go after Zappos, but it never quite took off. "They've been trying to do it for years with very little success," one analyst tells the Journal. Amazon will reportedly run Zappos as a separate entity, and it will operate under the same management. The deal is expected to close in the fall.