After many days of speculation, Amazon confirmed on Tuesday via a statement that it has acquired Middle East e-commerce website Souq.com.
The price for the deal wasn't disclosed, although earlier news reports have pegged it at being in the US$650 million - $750 million range.
In the statement, Ronaldo Mouchawar, CEO, Souq.com, 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. 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."
H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, also commented on the acquisition, saying, “Amazon’s entry into the region reflects the visionary foresight of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, who launched Dubai Internet City in 1999 and adopted the e-commerce and online business legislation of 2002. Furthermore, it reiterates Dubai’s position as a regional and global hub for the world’s biggest and leading organizations, fostering in its ecosystem that amalgamates the brightest minds, talent, thought leaders, entrepreneurs and investors from around the world.”
The deal will also see fintech company PayFort, part of the Souq Group, be acquired by Amazon. "Today as part of Souq Group Inc. we are pleased to officially announce that PayFort International Inc. and its subsidiaries will be acquired by Amazon, through Amazon’s acquisition of the Souq Group," said PayFort Managing Director Omar Soudodi. "We are excited about the future opportunities that are ahead of us as part of Amazon."