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Amazon.com Inc has agreed in principle to buy 100 percent of Dubai-based online retailer Souq.com from its shareholders, sources familiar with the deal. Amazon declined to comment and a spokesperson for Souq.com did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Goldman Sachs acted as adviser for Souq.com and helped to arrange the deal, two of the sources said. Souq.com, which sells consumer electronics, fashion, household items and other goods, is one of the most high-profile names in the Middle East’s online shopping market.
The sources, however, didn’t disclose the price Amazon and Souq.com have agreed on for the deal. The Middle East’s technology sector, including e-commerce, is expanding quickly due to the region’s young and tech-savvy population. Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are in the top seven worldwide for mobile phone penetration. It is to be mentioned that last year Souq.com raised $275 million from a funding round with investors to support its future growth. Investors participating in that funding round included Tiger Global Management, Naspers, Standard Chartered Private Equity, International Finance Corporation and Baillie Gifford.