CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Christmas Gift Guide
Internet

Amazon's next big market: Dubai?

The Seattle online retailer reportedly agrees to buy leading Arab world e-commerce player Souq.com.

jeffbezos1.jpg

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos wants his company to keep growing in emerging markets like Mexico, China and, apparently, the Middle East.

David Ryder/Getty Images

Amazon may be nearing one of its biggest acquisitions in years, this time with its eyes on growing in Middle East e-commerce.

Reuters reported Wednesday that Amazon agreed in principle to buy Dubai-based Souq.com, one of the biggest e-retailers in the Arab world. The site, started in 2005, sells over 400,000 products including electronics, clothes and household goods.

Wednesday's story comes two weeks after Bloomberg said Amazon restarted talks with Souq.com for up to $650 million, after breaking off conversations earlier this year amid disagreements over a price.

Both Amazon and Souq.com representatives didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

The potential purchase would fit well with Amazon's interest in tapping into e-commerce growth in emerging markets, including its expansion in Mexico, China and India. As the world's largest e-commerce company has seen its businesses mature in developed countries, such as the US, Germany and Japan, it will need to go to more markets to maintain its rapid growth.

At $650 million, the Souq.com deal would be Amazon's largest acquisition since 2014, when it bought Twitch, a service for watching and streaming live video-game play, for $970 million, according to Crunchbase.

Amazon has shied from making many big, splashy deals in the past decade. Outside of Twitch, the company bought robotics company Kiva Systems in 2012 for $775 million, e-commerce company Quidsi in 2010 for $545 million, and shoe e-retailer Zappos in 2009 for $1.2 billion, Crunchbase said.

Souq.com serves the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. The online seller raised $275 million last February in its latest round of funding.

Virtual reality 101: CNET tells you everything you need to know about VR.

Tech Enabled: CNET chronicles tech's role in providing new kinds of accessibility.