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Amazon acquires The Book Depository…and a little bit of Egypt!

Amazon acquires The Book Depository…and a little bit of Egypt!

Will Amazon's latest acquisition open the floodgates of global access to literature in the Middle East?

July 6, 2011 4:48 by



Amazon.com’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 bookpages.co.uk 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, elkotob.com, 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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