Amazon Acquires AbeBooks

by Staff

Amazon announced on Friday its plans to acquire AbeBooks, the Canada-based online marketplace showcasing the wares of over thirteen thousand booksellers specializing in used, rare, and out-of-print books. AbeBooks, which also carries new titles, textbooks, and audiobooks, hosts a book blog and book club and publishes author interviews and newsletters for readers and collectors.

"As a leader in rare and hard-to-find books, AbeBooks brings added breadth and expanded selection to our customers worldwide," said Russell Grandinetti, Amazon's vice president of books, in a press release. "We're excited to present all of our customers with the widest selection of books available any place on Earth."

AbeBooks will continue to operate out of Victoria, British Columbia, under its currrent management. All of the company's Web sites, including global marketplaces serving the United Kingdom and western Europe, will remain intact.

LibraryThing, the online book cataloging and networking site partially owned by AbeBooks, will also carry on business as usual. Tim Spalding, creator of LibraryThing, announced on the LibraryThing blog his support of Amazon's acquisition, noting that he did not have any influence over negotiations.

"I can foresee Amazon's extraordinary technical infrastructure giving Abe a big lift," Spalding wrote on the blog, while assuring LibraryThing users that Fortune 500 giant will not receive any special treatment as the site's new minority shareholder. "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."