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00:00:01
>> Amazon going shopping in Dubai. Sources telling Reuters the US e-commerce giant has agreed in principle to buy 100% of one of the Middle East's best-known names in online shopping, souq.com. Souq is the Arabic word for market. Neither Amazon or Souq responded to request for a comment. The Dubai based online retailer was valued at a billion dollars in a funding round last year but sources say that valuation has since dropped.
00:00:28
Reuters global tech editor, Jonathan Weber.>> Generally, Amazon is not bad acquisitive of a company, this is definitely one of their larger acquisitions, they do prefer to build. But I think of situation where the timing of the market opportunity is very important, so things are kind of really heating up right now.
00:00:47
And it might take Amazon some years to build out its own operation and maybe it'll have missed the window by then.>> Soup.com launched in 2005 as an Internet auction site and has developed into a retailer and marketplace for third party vendors serving several markets including the UAE, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
00:01:06
>> There's a young population there that is very tech savvy. Cell phone penetration is very high, smartphone penetration. They're furious users of social media. And so the potential for e-commerce growth in the Middle East is quite substantial. There's also quite a bit of money in the region, obviously.
00:01:26
And a lot of appetite especially among the wealthier customers for North American goods in particular and so that presents some obvious opportunities.>> Suoq is one of the biggest players in an overall Middle Eastern e-commerce market estimated to be worth $20 billion in 2016.