American online giant Amazon continues its worldwide expansion, this time through the acquisition of Souq.com. The online platform from the United Arab Emirates is the region’s largest eCommerce site.
Next battleground: India
With souq.com now part of Amazon’s online range, the American company gains access to a reported 78 % of all online shopping in the Middle East and North Africa. It also managed to outbid Indian Flipkart and Majid Al Futtaim to the acquisition, valued at 1 billion dollars (925 million euro). Its largest competitor in the region, Noon, has yet to go live, giving Amazon’s Souq.com plenty of freedom to operate.
In India, Amazon faces Flipkart again, but a third dog in the fight is Snapdeal. The Americans so far managed to trump both competitors in the region worth thirteen to fourteen billion euro) online, but may face increased competition soon. Rumours say both Flipkart and Paytm (backed by a global Amazon competitor, Alibaba) are targeting Snapdeal, which may prove too large an obstacle for Amazon to overcome if either party manages to strike a deal with Snapdeal. Analysts feel India is a key market for Amazon, in order to expand on its strong position in America and Europe.