Amazon is closing Book Depository, a British online bookseller it acquired in 2011, on April 26

by Ana Lopez

Amazon is set to shutter speed Book depotan online bookstore and competitor that it acquired in 2011.

The news comes on the heels of a series of budget cuts at the internet giant, with two separate rounds of layoffs affecting at least 27,000 people across several divisions, including the highly profitable AWS cloud unit and its devices and books business.

Founded in Gloucester, UK, in 2004 by Andrew Crawford and Stuart Felton, Book Depository (originally named The Book Depository) was a direct competitor to Amazon’s premier online bookselling company, shipping millions of books to readers in more than 100 countries. At the time of the takeover, some feared so signaled a tightening of Amazon’s “stranglehold” on the UK online book trade, a fear that may have been more than a little founded. Despite protests from the industry, the deal ended received regulatory approvalwith the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) confirming at the time that Book Depository was not a real competitor due to its relative size.

In the intervening years, Amazon has done little to integrate Book Depository, at least from a brand perspective. Indeed, there’s never been any visible indication on Book Depository’s website that it’s owned by Amazon, an approach it’s taken with other similar acquisitions it’s made in the space, such as Goodreads, a social reading platform it bought in 2013. .

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Close shop

First reported by publishing house trade The bookseller earlier today (paywall), Book Depository now has posted a closing notice on its websiteshowing that it will cease to exist after April 26, 2023. Customers will still be able to place orders online until 12pm (BST) on that day, and the company said it will fulfill all orders and continue to provide support until June 23, 2023.

In reality, none of this should really come as a surprise given the activity elsewhere at Amazon in recent times, especially with Amazon CEO Andy Jassy previously confirming that its book business would be affected by the layoffs.

Elsewhere, however, Amazon confirmed a few weeks ago that it would be shutting down esteemed camera review site DPReview, another UK-based entity it initially purchased in 2007. And last year, Amazon revealed it was closing dozens of brick-and-mortar retail locations in the US and UK, including its brick-and-mortar bookstores, while also pulling the plug on some of its checkout-less Amazon Go stores. The company is also phasing out its consumer-focused file storage service Amazon Drive.

It’s not clear how many people have worked on the Book Depository side of the company, or if any of them will be deployed elsewhere. An Amazon spokesperson simply confirmed to that they have “made the difficult decision to close Book Depository,” without providing any further details.

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