Sun. Jun 4th, 2023

Amazon is about to shutter E-book Depository, a web-based bookstore and competitor it acquired again in 2011.

The information comes scorching on the heels of a swathe of cutbacks on the web big, with two separate rounds of layoffs impacting no less than 27,000 individuals throughout numerous divisions together with its extremely worthwhile AWS cloud unit and, certainly, its gadgets and books companies.

Based out of Gloucester, the U.Ok., in 2004, E-book Depository (initially known as The E-book Depository) was a small-scale competitor to Amazon’s on-line bookselling enterprise, transport books to readers in additional than 100 international locations. On the time of the acquisition, some feared that it signalled a tightening of Amazon’s “stranglehold” over the U.Ok.’s on-line e-book commerce, a concern that will have had greater than a little bit basis. Nonetheless, regardless of trade protests, the deal in the end acquired regulatory approval, with the Workplace of Honest Buying and selling (OFT) affirming on the time that E-book Depository wasn’t a real competitor owing to its relative dimension.

Within the intervening years, Amazon has performed little to combine E-book Depository, from a branding perspective no less than. Certainly, there has by no means been any seen indication on E-book Depository’s web site that it’s owned by Amazon, an strategy that it has taken to different related acquisitions it has made within the house resembling Goodreads, a social studying platform it purchased in 2013.

Shutting store

First reported by publishing trade commerce outlet The Bookseller earlier right now (paywalled), E-book Depository has now posted a closure announcement on its web site, revealing that it’s going to stop to exist after April 26, 2023. Prospects will nonetheless be capable of place orders on-line till noon (BST) on that day, and the corporate stated it should fulfil all orders and supply help via June 23, 2023.

In reality, none of this could actually come as a lot of a shock given actions elsewhere at Amazon in current instances, significantly with Amazon CEO Andy Jassy beforehand confirming that its books enterprise could be hit by the layoffs.

Elsewhere, Amazon confirmed just a few weeks again that it was shuttering esteemed digital camera assessment website DPReview, one other U.Ok.-based entity that it had purchased initially in 2007. And final 12 months, Amazon revealed it was shuttering dozens of bodily retail areas within the U.S. and U.Ok., together with its brick-and-mortar bookstores, whereas it’s additionally pulling the plug on a few of its cashierless Amazon Go shops. The corporate can also be within the strategy of winding down its consumer-focused file-storage service Amazon Drive.

It’s not clear how many individuals labored on the E-book Depository aspect of its enterprise, or whether or not any of them can be redeployed elsewhere. An Amazon spokesperson merely confirmed to TechCrunch that they’ve “taken the tough choice to shut E-book Depository,” with out offering any additional particulars.

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