Amazon.com Buys into Australian Toys

Amazon.com
has made its first foray into Australia by indirectly taking a stake in a
fledgling toy e-tailer called ToySpot.com.au.


The deal came through a complex
transaction which also involves Australian publishers John Fairfax Ltd.

The deal involves Amazon.com taking a 50 per cent share of f2 Investments,
which is a holding company created by Fairfax for its wholly-owned online
subsidiary, f2 Limited. Fairfax bought a
“strategic stake” through f2 Investments last December in theSpot, an
Australian startup whose only property at the moment is the ToySpot Web
site which was started only months earlier in October.


ToySpot has over
2000 products in toys, children’s books and videos, children’s software,
and video games, according to theSpot.

The deal is particularly good for Fairfax because in lieu of cash, an
undisclosed portion of its interest in theSpot was traded for free
advertising on f2 properties like www.shoptoday.com.au plus a
sweetheart deal with its SOLD.com.au
online auction site.

“f2 has a growing e-commerce position in SOLD.com.au and CitySearch.com.au and we are
pleased to begin a relationship with Amazon.com, the world’s most customer
centric company,” said Nigel Dews, CEO of f2, in a terse four-line
statement issued by Fairfax.

Amazon.com currently operates region-specific sites only in Britain and
Germany, with toys and games being included as one of the site’s six main
product lines in July last year.

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