NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Internet retailer Beyond.com said Monday it is buying its privately-held competitor BuyDirect for stock valued at about $133.7 million.
Under the agreement, which combines two of the biggest software merchants on the Web, Beyond.com (BYND) will issue 5.4 million of its shares for San Francisco-based BuyDirect.
The deal, which is expected to close at the end of March, has been approved by both companies' boards. It is Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Beyond.com's first major acquisition since going public last year.
Besides selling software programs, both companies allow customers to download a wide range of software from a variety of publishers through their Web sites. Combined, they will have nearly one million customers.
Beyond.com will benefit from BuyDirect's software retailing agreement with prominent technology content providers CNet and ZDNet. Beyond.com already has retailing deals with several leading Web portals, including Yahoo!, America Online and Excite, and online direct marketer Xoom.com.
Mark Breier, Beyond.com's president and chief executive officer, will retain his position, while Bong Suh, chief executive of BuyDirect, will become vice president of corporate development for the merged company.
Shares of Beyond.com closed unchanged at 24-3/4 Friday.