SEATTLE & VICTORIA, British Columbia–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Aug. 1, 2008–Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), today announced that, subject to closing conditions, it has reached an agreement to acquire AbeBooks. AbeBooks is an online marketplace for books, with over 110 million primarily used, rare and out-of-print books listed for sale by thousands of independent booksellers from around the world.
“As a leader in rare and hard-to-find books, AbeBooks brings added breadth and expanded selection to our customers worldwide,” said Russell Grandinetti, vice president of books for Amazon.com. “AbeBooks provides a wide range of services to both sellers and customers, and we look forward to working with them to further grow their business. We're excited to present all of our customers with the widest selection of books available any place on Earth.”
“This deal brings together book sellers and book lovers from around the world, and offers both types of customers a great experience,” said Hannes Blum, chief executive officer of AbeBooks. “We are very excited to be joining the Amazon family.”
The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals, and is expected to close before the end of the fourth quarter of 2008.
AbeBooks will continue to function as a stand-alone operation based in Victoria, British Columbia. AbeBooks will maintain all of its websites, including its Canadian website with Canada-specific content, such as reviews of Canadian-authored books and interviews of Canadian writers.
Thoughts? I like AbeBooks because they are local and were the pioneers of online used book selling, but their website doesn't have the detailed product information and general slickness I've gotten used to with Amazon. Perhaps that will change now. The main downside I see is that one good earthquake could knock out the entire system in one blow! Not that I'd care since I live on the same subduction zone and would have my own technical difficulties to worry about in that event…
UPDATE: Book Patrol has some thoughts on this, uh, “seismic event.”