The deal will accelerate the company's entry into the Middle East e-commerce market. Amazon separately launched a drive-in grocery service, as Fred Katayama reports.
Goldman Sachs calls it the biggest ever M&A tech deal in the Arab world. Amazon is buying the Middle East online retailer Souq.com. Goldman, which advised on the deal, says the acquisition will accelerate the company's entry into the Middle East. The region is alluring for its growth potential. Goldman says e-commerce there only accounts for 2 percent of retail sales. Souq is the largest online retailer and marketplace platform in the Arab world, featuring more than 8.5 million products. Through the deal, it says it hopes to expand its delivery and selection. The two sides didn't disclose terms of the deal. But sources say Amazon is paying less than the $800 million last-minute bid made by Dubai's shopping center operator, Emmar Malls. Separately, Amazon announced the launch of a drive-in grocery that allows U.S. shoppers to order online, drive to a pick-up location, then have groceries brought to your car. Amazon shares rising at the market open.