アマゾンがAbeBooks買収、その出資先LibraryThingの株式も確保

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Usenetが死んだ?

Amazonが創業12年のカナダの企業「Abebooks」(旧社名「Advanced Book Exchange」)が買収した。両社が先ほど発表した。

AbeBooksは、独立した書籍販売業者が扱う中古・レアもの・絶版タイトル販売専門のマーケットプレイス。 ―現在は販売業者1万3500社が売る書籍1億1000万点を扱っている。

同社は1996年から業界で実績を積んでおり、アマゾンにとっては探しにくい本や絶版本というニッチ分野を埋める助けになるだろう。ここは在庫を抱え込むのではなく、既存の書籍販売業者が使えるデジタルなマーケットプレースの役割りを果たしている。

さらにAbeBooksは自分の本を追跡したり、自分と本の好みが似た人が探せるソーシャルアプリ「LibraryThing」の株式の40%を所有している。一方、アマゾンはShelfari投資主。本買収でアマゾンは、競合するスタートアップ2社のどちらにも資本参加する格好となる。

AbeBooks社CEOのHannes Blum博士は本日(米国時間8/1)書籍販売業者にメールで買収の報告を行い、今後も同社はスタンドアローンの独立した事業体として営業を続けるとした。以下にメールを貼っておこう(英文)。プレスリリースはこちら

Dear Booksellers,

AbeBooks has reached an agreement to be acquired by Amazon.com, Inc. This is a major landmark in the 12-year history of AbeBooks.

AbeBooks will continue to operate as a stand-alone business with all aspects of AbeBooks’ bookseller and customer experience remaining intact. AbeBooks’ headquarters will remain in Victoria, BC, Canada, and our European offices will remain in Dusseldorf, Germany. We will continue to support both our international marketplaces and our domestic marketplace here in Canada. I will continue to lead AbeBooks.

We expect this change to allow AbeBooks to expand its offerings and introduce new features and services to enhance the book buying and selling experience. Amazon is committed to further developing the AbeBooks brand and building upon the success of the past 12 years. This is not the first time AbeBooks has changed hands since being launched in 1996. Hubert Burda Media, a German media company, took a majority shareholding in 2003.

The bookselling community has been a vital component in our success, and we are grateful for your continuing support. We will be happy to answer questions about our new ownership and what the future holds. A bookseller Roundtable will be held on Thursday August 7th at 2:30pm PDT/9:30pm GMT/7:30am AU where I and the Director of Sales & Account Management, Shaun Jamieson, will answer any questions you might have. In addition, the ‘Ask AbeBooks a question’ folder will continue to be available for ongoing questions from the seller community.

We realize this is important news for our community, and we are confident that this acquisition will greatly benefit AbeBooks’ sellers and provide us with many opportunities for future growth.

For more details please see the official release posted today.

Regards,

Dr. Hannes Blum
President and CEO
AbeBooks

[原文へ]

(翻訳:satomi)