Amazon to Acquire U.K. Online Bookseller and Publisher

Amazon.com has acquired The Book Depository International, a seven-year-old online bookseller based in the U.K.

The site, which boasts that it has more than six million titles in its inventory, claims to offer “the largest range of titles in the world,” available anywhere internationally within 48 hours.

The Book Depository also claims it is making books that are no longer in print or hard to find available again, by republishing them through its printing department, called Dodo Press. More than 11,000 Dodo Press titles are also available from the site as free downloads.

The Book Depository’s publishing business may align with Amazon’s own publishing ambitions, which include the ability for authors to self-publish titles electronically to the Kindle.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed and must pass customary closing conditions.

Amazon already has a dedicated internationally focused Web site in the U.K., along with Germany, France, Japan, Canada, China and Italy. In 2010 those sites represented 11 to 15 percent of net sales.

“Customers in more than 100 countries enjoy The Book Depository’s vast selection, convenient delivery and free shipping,” said Greg Greeley, Amazon’s Vice President of European Retail, in a statement. “The Book Depository is very focused on serving its customers around the world, and we look forward to welcoming them to the Amazon family.”

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