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Amazon Acquires Shelfari

Daily News

Online Only, posted 9.02.08

A little more than three weeks after Amazon bought AbeBooks, the online retailer announced that it has acquired Shelfari, the social networking site for book lovers. The announcement came last Monday in a message posted on Shelfari's blog by cofounder Josh Hug. "We look forward to working with Amazon to continue with our mission of building great communities that celebrate books," he wrote. "With more resources and Amazon’s expertise in building a platform where people come to share ideas, there are a lot of new opportunities in the future that will benefit each of you."

Amazon's earlier purchase of AbeBooks came with a 40-percent minority stake in LibraryThing, the online book cataloging and networking site that was partially owned by AbeBooks and is Shelfari's direct competitor. LibraryThing founder Tim Spalding sounded off on Amazon's acquisition of Shelfari on his blog shortly after the news was announced. He wrote that he has the "greatest contempt for [Shelfari] and for what book-based social networking will become if they beat out LibraryThing."

There has been no official word about what Amazon intends to do with its stake in LibraryThing.

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