Today, Amazon announced it is acquiring UK bookseller, The Book Depository, for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition is still awaiting regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.
The Book Depository offers free shipping to over 100 countries and boasts a 48 hour turn around from the time you order to the time it is shipped out of their Gloucester fulfillment center. The company also owns publisher, Dodo Press, which has re-published over 15,000 hard-to-find titles for widespread distribution.
Due to The Book Depository’s already established assets and reputation, Amazon can begin benefitting from the UK company off the bat. The deal provides an opportunity for both companies to build off of each other, fulfill desires to offer the most titles in the world, and become even more internationally engrained.
“With the support of Amazon, we look forward to continuing our growth and providing an ever-improving service for readers globally,” said Andrew Crawford, founder of The Book Depository.
The Twittersphere has not been as receptive. Tweets have surfaced with concerns that The Book Depository customers can kiss their free shipping goodbye. Others are concerned about lack of competition and monopolization.
The Book Depository responded to customer unease by tweeting that it will continue to operate independently. This is similar to what online restaurant reservations website, OpenTable did with UK competitor TopTable in 2010. After purchasing TopTable, OpenTable continued the brand under it’s already trusted name. This afforded OpenTable deeper access into the European market and a base from which to expand.
Greg Greeley, Amazon’s Vice President of European Retail says, “Customers in more than 100 countries enjoy The Book Depository’s vast selection, convenient delivery and free shipping.”
Perhaps this international “base” is in mind for an Amazon that desires to grow even larger than it is and utilize the hundred-country reach that The Book Depository already has in its bookselling arsenal.