Amazon confirms aquisition of Souq.com
Amazon has announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire SOUQ.com, an e-commerce leader in the Middle East, ending days of speculation over the future of the platform.
The deal will enable SOUQ.com to continue growing while working with Amazon to bring even more products and offerings to customers worldwide, while Amazon.com will gain a major foothold in one of the fastest growing e-commerce markets in the world.
SOUQ.com operates its own distribution centres and last mile fulfilment arm, covering 22 markets across the MENA region. Amazon.com has traditionally struggled to provide its Middle East consumers with the same level of same-day and next-day delivery guarantees offered in Europe and North America.
Reflecting the importance of this aquisition for consumers in the region, Dubai's Crown Prince weighed in, welcoming the news.
“Amazon’s entry into the region reflects the visionary foresight of His Highness 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," said His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai.
"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,” he added.
"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."
"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."
Subject to closing conditions, the acquisition is expected to close in 2017. Neither SOUQ.com or Amazon.com responded to a request for comment regarding the details of the merger, such as the future branding of SOUQ, which some have speculated may become Amazon.ae or Amazon.me.
Amazon.com's aquisition of SOUQ comes days after news first broke that the two companies were in negotiations, the day after those reports emerged, Emaar Malls made a counter offer to the tune of a reported US $800-million, reflecting the high stakes involved as Amazon/SOUQ and Emaar with its new Noon.com e-commerce platform battle for supremacy in online retail in the region.