Amazon has officially announced its acquisition of Souq.com, marking another step in the ecommerce giant’s pursuit of world domination.
Souq.com, which at one time was valued at $1 billion, emerged as the go-to online shopping destination in the Middle East, quickly drawing comparisons to Amazon. Founded in Dubai, UAE, Souq reportedly sold to Amazon for $650 million.
Amazon had competition. Emaar Malls, a Dubai-based operator of shopping centers, submitted an $800 million bid for Souq.
“Amazon and SOUQ.com share the same DNA – we’re both driven by customers, invention, and long-term thinking,” said Russ Grandinetti, Amazon senior vice president, international consumer. “SOUQ.com pioneered e-commerce in the Middle East, creating a great shopping experience for their customers. We’re looking forward to both learning from and supporting them with Amazon technology and global resources. And together, we’ll work hard to provide the best possible service for millions of customers in the Middle East.”
The deal means Amazon goes from having just about no presence in the Middle East to owning the biggest operation in the region, which had been slow to adopt ecommerce. Now, it’s among the fastest growing markets in the world.
Amazon already accounts for a whopping 43% of U.S. ecommerce sales, and even generates more than half of the sector’s growth despite its size.
“We are guided by many of the same principles as Amazon, and this acquisition is a critical next step in growing our e-commerce presence on behalf of customers across the region,” said SOUQ.com CEO and Co-Founder Ronaldo Mouchawar. “By becoming part of the Amazon family, we’ll be able to vastly expand our delivery capabilities and customer selection much faster, as well as continue Amazon’s great track record of empowering sellers.”