Amazon buys deal-a-day website Woot

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The Independent Online

Woot, the quirky online store which sells only one product a day, has been bought by Web retail giant Amazon.

The Texas-based Woot announced Wednesday it will become an independent subsidiary of the Seattle, Washington-based Amazon and will operate autonomously like another Amazon-owned company, online shoe store Zappos.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed but the popular US technology blog TechCrunch.com put the purchase price at 110 million dollars.

Woot, which was launched in 2004 and has more than 2.75 million registered users, sells only one product a day through its website, Woot.com, putting the item up for sale at midnight and offering it until it sells out.

Wednesday's item, for example, was eight-gigabyte iPod Nanos for 99.99 dollars.

Woot is known for its offbeat humor and has a loyal following.

The announcement of its sale to Amazon included a YouTube video on the wootchannel featuring a rap song by a stuffed monkey.

Woot founder and chief executive Matt Rutledge said in a tongue-in-cheek memo to employees that "Woot and all our various sites will continue to be an independently operated company full of horrible, useless products.

"Amazon clearly knows what they're doing in a lot of areas, so we're geeked about the opportunities to tap into that knowledge and those resources, especially on the technology side," he said.

"This is about making the Woot brand, culture, and business even stronger than it is today, and we expect that any changes will be for the better or we wouldn't bother with this endless paperwork," he added.

Rutledge told AFP the deal will close in a few weeks.

He declined to release revenue figures for the company but did not dispute a Wikipedia entry which listed 2008 revenue as 164 million dollars.

"We've grown since then," he added.

Amazon invested some four million dollars in Woot in 2006.

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