A big part of Amazon’s $5.5 billion takeover of eBay last year was a $3 billion cash infusion.
That money helped Amazon drive up sales by buying up a huge swath of the online retail industry, including e-commerce giants like eBay, whose sales have exploded in recent years.
Amazon has been steadily expanding its reach and clout into the world of online retail, buying companies like e-tailer Jet.com and the music streaming service Spotify.
But the deal to merge eBay and Amazon isn’t about just making money for the combined company.
It’s about the future of the business, which has been struggling to find a way to make money while trying to build its online presence, said a person familiar with the talks.
Amazon also wants to buy Jet, which it is also trying to buy.
It hasn’t done so yet.
The two companies are expected to announce the merger at an investor conference later this week, and Amazon is expected to make the deal official next week, the person said.
The deal could make it easier for Amazon to sell its online retail business and for the company to expand into other areas of the e-marketplace.
Amazon could also use the money it’s getting from the deal, said another person familiar in the discussions.
Amazon is also in talks with banks, and it could make other deals to get credit lines and other financing that might be more attractive to banks, said the person, who was not authorized to discuss the talks publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
The merger is the latest move in a broader consolidation of Amazon and the U.S. tech industry.
The company bought PayPal in 2014 and is working to sell Jet and its services, and in 2016 it bought Whole Foods for $13.7 billion.
In January, Amazon and Microsoft announced plans to merge their cloud services businesses, and last month the company announced it would buy video streaming service Netflix.
The $3.9 billion sale of Jet is expected in a private letter that Amazon sent to Jet stockholders, but it’s not clear how the deal will affect the future value of the company, according to the person familiar.
It could also make it harder for Amazon and other companies to keep up with rising demand for their products, the source said.
“It makes the whole business less attractive to them,” said the second person, a former Amazon executive.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said last week that he is “optimistic” about the deal.
Amazon stock rose 1.4% Thursday to $53.76.