Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) is buying 13 year old online retail company, Abebooks.com. Abebooks is based out of Victoria, British Columbia. Abebooks sells 110 million books, employs 120 people, and has a relationship with 13,000 booksellers. Abebooks started around the same time as Amazon.com. Amazon launched in 1994 and AbeBooks launched in 1996.
AbeBooks partially owns LibraryThing, a book social network. Amazon.com had also previously invested in Shelfari, another book social network. Abebooks built themselves without venture capital. AbeBooks made $190 million last year from book sales.
The financial terms of the acquisition were undisclosed.
Update: Tim Spalding, founder of LibraryThing, provided further insight into the deal (see comment #1).
Here is some additional information from Tim Spalding:
– LibraryThing did not have any knowledge of or influence over this deal.
– The majority of LibraryThing is in my hands. Abebooks holds a minority of the shares, with certain notable but limited rights. This situation does not change when Amazon acquires Abebooks.
– Amazon will not get access to your data. The LibraryThing/Abebooks terms are specific. Abe gets only anonymized and aggregate data, like recommendations, and they can only use it on Abebooks sites (eg., Abebooks.com, Abebooks.de). Nothing has changed here.
– Abebooks customers won’t see much a difference. The name will survive and the Abebooks.com site will continue. Both employees and management will remain in Canada.
– LibraryThing remains LibraryThing. We will continue to uphold and advance LibraryThing values, including open data, strict privacy rules and support for libraries and independent bookstores.