November 9, 2005, 12:00 AM

Abebooks acquires books comparison site

With about 1 million monthly visitors and a network of about 3,000 used and rare book dealers, is an up-and-coming books comparison site, says Abebooks. The acquisition will help Abebooks expand in the global online books market.

Mark Brohan

Research Director

Abebooks Inc. is acquiring, an online comparison service of rare, used and out-of-print books.

Abebooks, No. 58 in the Internet Retailer Top 400 Guide to Retail Web Sites, isn’t breaking out the specific terms of the transaction, including the purchase price, but the company is making the acquisition to grow its share of the used online books market, which is growing an at annual rate of more than 30%.

“Our goal is to help book lovers find and buy any book from any bookseller anywhere, so the acquisition of makes perfect sense,” says Abebooks president and CEO Hanes Blum. will remain an independent operating company of Abebooks with a headquarters in Berkeley, CA, Blum says.

With about 1 million monthly visitors and a network of about 3,000 used book dealers, is an up-and-coming books comparison site, says Abebooks chief operating officer Boris Wertz. “They remain one of our major traffic drivers,” he says. was founded in 1997 by CEO Anirvan Chatterjee who started the online books comparison site while he was an undergraduate at the University of California at Berkeley. Today lets buyers search through over 100 million new, used, rare and out-of-print books for sale from thousands of booksellers. has online marketing relationships with a number of major book chains and online retailers, including A1Books, Alibris,,,,,, the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers, and Powell’s Books. The company is profitable and uses a business model based on a per-transaction fee, says Wertz.

Today, is used primarily by book buyers in North American, but Abebooks made the acquisition with an eye toward developing an international books comparison site. “We can help become international and help take it to a higher level,” Wertz says. Chatterjee will remain as CEO of and report to Blum, Abebooks says. is the latest acquisition for Abebooks. In October 2004, Abebooks acquired, an online market for used and antiquarian books in the global Spanish-speaking community.


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