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Wal-Mart to acquire Jet.com

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As Wal-Mart races to build a Web business to better compete with Amazon, it announced that it would buy online retailer Jet.com for about $3 billion.

The world’s largest retailer said it would pay around $3 billion in cash for Jet, part of which would be paid over time. They will also pay an additional $300 million in shares over time.

We’re looking for ways to lower prices, broaden our assortment and offer the simplest, easiest shopping experience because that’s what our customers want.

Wal-Mart chief executive officer Doug McMillon said in a statement.

Jet.com was launched by Marc Lore in July last year. Its initial strategy was to offer large discounts and the lowest prices on items based on a pricing formula that took into account factors such as the number of items customers added to their shopping cart for an annual $50 fee.

But three months after launch, Jet changed strategy and eliminated its subscription model.

While Wal-Mart and Jet will maintain distinct brands, they will leverage technology from both companies to develop new offerings, Wal-Mart said.