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Amazon turns up volume, buys Audible

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Amazon.com said today that it has agreed to buy digital spoken word audio provider Audible Inc for $11.50 a share.

The online retailer valued the transaction at about $300m which includes Audible's cash and short-term investments.

Under the deal, Amazon said it will start a cash tender offer to buy all of Audible's remaining shares.

New Jersey-based Audible sells around 80,000 programs that include audiobooks from the likes of Stephen King and Jane Austen.

The firm, which was founded in 1997, also has operations in the UK, Germany and France. The deal is expected to be completed in the second quarter of this year, subject to the normal regulatory requirements.

Amazon has been increasingly sniffing around the so-called digital content market.

In November it released its Kindle e-book reader which plays audiobooks and before that it launched a new DRM-free music store – Amazon MP3 – to rival Apple's iTunes.

Amazon's press release is here. ®

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