Amazon completes acquisition of Dubai online retailer Souq.com

Global e-commerce giant Amazon yesterday said it had officially completed the acquisition of Dubai-based online retailer Souq.com.

In a statement, Amazon said in the first step of integration, Amazon users could now use their details to log on to Souq.com.

The acquisition, announced in March this year, signalled the entry of Amazon into the Middle East market (See: Amazon.com to buy Dubai-based online retailer Souq.com ). Though the size of the deal was not disclosed, it was estimated to be worth between $580 million to $750 million.

According to Ronaldo Muchawar, the CEO and co-founder of Souq.com, the deal also included Souq's payment, logistics and aftersales businesses and was motivated by the need to meet a ''massive uptake'' in the regional e-commerce market in the next three years.

''It is an exhilarating time for the e-commerce industry in the region. Together with Amazon, our goal is to offer our customers the widest product selection, great prices, improved delivery times and first-rate customer service,'' said Mouchawar.

According to the companies, the deal would see further integration of Amazon's technology and global resources into Souq's platform.

The companies have however not disclosed their plans in other areas like the introduction of Amazon's drone delivery platform in the region.

According to commentators, it seemed that Souq.com would continue with its brand rather than adopt Amazon's name.

Souq currently offers 8.4 million products across 31 categories including consumer electronics, fashion, household goods, and baby products. It had also expanded into books and groceries.

The retailer, which operates in the UAE, Egypt, Saud and Kuwait with shipping also available to Oman, Bahrain and Qatar, logs 45 million visits per month.

A Souq.com statement said the firms now would work on the "next phase of the integration to bring more products and offerings to the region's customers even faster."

According to commentators, with the acquisition, Seattle-based Amazon will leapfrog into the crucial Mideast markets of Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, where the retailer already had local operations.