Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Amazon Acquires The Book Depository. And a Little Bit of Egypt!

NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 09: founder an...Image by Getty Images via's decision to acquire Guernsey-based online book distribution company The Book Depository was announced in a terse press release over PR Newswire from the online retailing giant. The move is subject to British regulatory approval, but would see a small online retailer gobbled up by the behemoth. Many people have seen it as a sort of David/Goliath thing.

Interestingly, the man behind The Book Depository, Andrew Crawford, has done it before - he was part of the startup team at which was acquired by Amazon way back in 1998.

Even more interestingly, there's a Middle East angle to the acquisition - The Book Depository is the majority holder of an Egpytian business process outsourcing company,, which provides back-end solutions for online book sellers but which also has expressed an aim to "to lead the Arabic book market, in the Middle East region as well as becoming the biggest Arabic books supplier in the world."

Will the move bring Amazon, finally, to support readers in the Middle East with Kindles and content? Will we now be able to access amazon with Middle East addreses and accounts? Will Amazon start to support Arabic in a big way? Will Amazon's e-commerce engines replace elkotobs? Will the 65 staff be expanded or replaced by Amazon? Will this see Amazon outsourcing some of its own massive development and server infrastructure to Egypt?

This could be an interesting move indeed...
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Kenna said...

I have mixed feelings with this. My primary concerns 1) will they still accept paypal payments 2) will delivery worldwide still be free and 3) will their affiliate system change.

Hopefully, the only changes this acquisition will bring is Kindle and Amazon accounts to Middle East, as you pointed out and books reaching more regions.

Phillipa said...

I know you are pro Amazon, but it's a bit like planting only one variety of potato - not good for anyone in the long run

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