Business

Amazon to buy Middle East online retailer Souq

Souq offices Image copyright AP

Amazon has made its first move into the Middle East after agreeing to buy the region's largest online retailer, Souq.com, for an undisclosed amount.

Souq was launched in 2005 and offers more than 8.4 million products.

It sells across 31 categories including consumer electronics, fashion, health and beauty, household goods and baby.

"Amazon and Souq share the same DNA. We're driven by customers, invention and long-term thinking," said Amazon senior vice-president Russ Grandinetti.

Some reports have suggested Amazon is paying about $650m (£517m) for the company.

The deal was revealed a day after Emaar Malls, the operator of Dubai's biggest mall, made an offer of $800m (£636m) for Souq.

'Great shopping experience'

Souq has more than 45 million visits per month and has localised operations in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Egypt.

Mr Grandinetti continued: "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."

Souq chief executive and co-founder Ronaldo Mouchawar said: "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."

The deal should be completed later this year.

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