Amazon has completed its purchase of Souq, a 12-year-old e-commerce company sometimes called the Amazon of the Middle East.
Amazon paid $580 million in cash for the Dubai-based online retailer, according to an SEC filing in April spotted by TechCrunch. An initial integration between the two companies allows users to sign in to Souq with their Amazon credentials. The two companies promised more integrations of products and services in a statement.
Souq, led by its founder, Syrian entrepreneur Ronaldo Mouchawar, fills an important geographic gap for Amazon. The e-commerce company sells nearly 2 million products — books, electronics, toys, home products, and more — to customers in countries such as United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia.
Amazon announced the acquisition in March, though it had reportedly been in talks to acquire Souq last year. Amazon won out over a higher bid from Emaar Malls, which said in March that it offered $800 million for Souq.
After a slow 2016 in terms of mergers and acquisitions, Amazon has stepped on the gas this year. The online retail giant shocked the grocery industry last month when it announced plans to purchase Whole Foods Market for $13.7B. Both these purchases show Amazon is willing to make big acquisitions in areas where it wants to grow quickly, in addition to building its own services from the ground up.