Amazon to acquire Quidsi (Diapers.com)

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Amazon expects to acquire Quidsi, parent company to Diapers.com, in a $545 million deal, the companies announced Monday, November 8.

Just last week, we were reporting on Quidsi's launch of a third e-commerce site, BeautyBar.com. It also opened Soap.com in July, selling basic household items and supplies. Quidsi appeals to busy parents and professionals alike with its promise of free, fast shipping, often two days or less, a proposition that Amazon.com likely can appreciate it. Last year, Amazon acquired Zappos, a company with a similar customer service ethos, not to mention a thorn in Amazon's e-selling side.

Fortune, which broke the story, has more on this idea:

The site, launched in January 2005, was started by Marc Lore and Vinnie Bharara, who grew up together in New Jersey.  A source says that this is not Amazon's first offer for their company, which had raised over $78 million in venture capital funding. The source says the company also received a (presumably lower) buyout offer from Wal Mart (WMT). (Messages left for Lore at home and to Bharara, Amazon PR, and Wal-Mart PR by email and phone weren't returned by time of posting.)

So what do these giants want with a diaper and soap dispenser? A rapidly growing company with a devoted base of customers that has figured out how to warehouse and ship commodity items quickly and profitably. Another company with that same premise: Zappos.com, which Amazon snapped up for $1.1 billion in 2009.

The company will continue to operate independently within Amazon, the release said. The deal is expected to close in December.

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