Amazon completes its acquisition of Middle Eastern e-commerce firm Souq

Amazon has completed its acquisition of e-commerce firm, which was first announced at the end of March and sees the U.S. retail giant enter the Middle Eastern market.

Amazon paid $580 million in cash for Souq, according to filingsBloomberg previously reported that Amazon was in discussions over an investment at a valuation in excess of $1 billion but, amid rivalry from Emaar’s ambitious project and others, an acquisition agreement was reached.

The two companies said today that they have completed an initial integration that allows customers to log into using their Amazon account credentials.

Next up, they plan to integrate products and services between the two sites to leverage their respective scale. In an announcement, in particular spoke of the potential to integrate with Amazon’s global seller and customer base to boost its business.

“It is an exhilarating time for the e-commerce industry in the region. Together with Amazon, our goal is to offer our customers the widest product selection, great prices, improved delivery times and first-rate customer service,” CEO and co-founder Ronaldo Mouchawar said in a statement.

Back to the Middle East, the deal gives Amazon a firm footing in a growing and competitive e-commerce space. itself claims over 45 million visitors per month and a range of 8.4 million products across 31 categories.

The region itself covers a total of some 50 million consumers across several countries, as well as a relatively untapped market: only about two percent of all retail spend today is made online, according to a report from McKinsey.

At the time of its confirmation, the deal was seen as an indicator that Amazon is prepared to buy its way into growth and new markets rather than simply relying on developing and expanding its own business. That point was later made all the more clear when, last month, Amazon announced its intention to acquire Whole Foods in a deal that is reportedly around the $13.7 billion mark.

The original version of this story has been updated to reflect the confirmed price Amazon paid for Souq — hat tip @AAltamami