Amazon to buy Audible for $300 million

Amazon.com, Inc. today announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire Audible Inc.

Audible.com is the leading online provider of premium digital spoken word audio content, specializing in digital audio editions of books, newspapers and magazines, television and radio programs and original programming. Through its web sites in the US and UK and alliances in Germany and France, Audible.com offers over 80,000 programs, including audiobooks from well-known authors such as Stephen King, Thomas Friedman, and Jane Austen, and spoken word audio content from sources including The New York Times, The New Yorker, Fresh Air and Charlie Rose.

“Audible.com offers the best customer experience, the widest content selection and the broadest device compatibility in the industry,” said Steve Kessel, Amazon.com’s senior vice president for worldwide digital media, in the press release. “Working together, we can introduce more innovations and bring this format to an even wider audience.”

“This deal brings together two pioneering companies that share a long history of ceaseless focus on improving the customer experience,” said Donald Katz, founder and chief executive of Audible.com, in the press release. “We are very excited to be joining a company as innovative as Amazon.com.”

In recent months, Amazon has announced a number of innovations in the digital space, including Amazon Kindle, a revolutionary wireless portable reader that provides instant wireless downloads of more than 90,000 books, blogs, magazines and newspapers to a crisp, high-resolution electronic paper display.

Under the terms of the agreement, Amazon.com will commence a cash tender offer to purchase all of the outstanding shares of Audible.com for $11.50 per share and will assume Audible.com’s outstanding stock-based awards, for an aggregate transaction value of approximately $300 million which includes Audible.com’s cash and short-term investments at closing.

The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals, and is expected to close by the second quarter of 2008.

Source: Amazon.com, Inc.

MacDailyNews Note: Audible is the preeminent provider of spoken-word audio products for Apple’s iTunes Store.

23 Comments

  1. This does not necessarily bode well in the long term for itunes obviously. They wouldn’t pull content immediately but soon enough. This suggests that Apple has been somewhat sleepy in the acquisitions area. With 19 billion in cash on hand, the time for acquisitions is nigh. Who to buy? Adobe?

  2. hmm, I get all my content directly from Audible via subscription, if you are someone that listens every day to an audio book (long commuter here) and it ties in directly to iTunes (tho not purchased directly from them) this makes me nervous

    subscription is the only way to go for audio books, $20 a month gets 2 audio books (that can cost upwards of $40-50 a piece)

    hope the iTunes tie in stays or this could get expensive

  3. Oh oh, another blow to Apple and Audio books on iTMS.

    Apple is losing here left and right.

    1: GoogleDell phone.
    2: Garmin GPS phone w/email, web etc.
    3: Now Audio is bought by Amazon, a competitor to iTMS.

    three strikes, what did Apple do wrong?

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