August 1, 2008, 12:00 AM

Amazon.com adds 110 million tomes through acquisition of AbeBooks

The No. 1 e-retailer is building on its already enormous literary selection with its purchase of AbeBooks, which specializes in used, rare and out-of-print books.

Don Davis

Editor in Chief

Amazon.com Inc. is bolstering its massive book business. The e-retailing giant is acquiring AbeBooks Inc., an online marketplace for books with more than 110 million primarily used, rare and out-of-print books listed for sale by thousands of independent booksellers from around the world.

AbeBooks, No. 73 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, will continue to operate as a standalone e-commerce site, says Amazon.com, No. 1 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide. The deal is expected to close by the end of the fourth quarter. A person familiar with the deal says the purchase price is between $100 million and $120 million.

“As a leader in rare and hard-to-find books, AbeBooks brings added breadth and expanded selection to our customers worldwide,” says Russell Grandinetti, vice president of books at Amazon.com. “AbeBooks provides a wide range of services to both sellers and customers, and we look forward to working with them to further grow their business.”

The books e-retailer has been growing its business on its own in recent years. In 2004 it purchased IberLibro.com, a Spanish online marketplace for used and rare books. In 2005 it bought search engine BookFinder.com. In 2006 it acquired FillZ, a vendor of web software for books, music, video and games e-retailers. And earlier this year it acquired Chrislands, a company that builds, hosts and maintains online bookstores for used booksellers around the world.

AbeBooks also has been going global through its GoJaba.com sister site, launched in February and expanded in July. And in part because of its early adoption of m-commerce and social networking, the e-retailer was named one of last year’s Hot 100 Retail Web Sites.

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