By Andy Sambidge
US internet giant's first major step into Middle East market costs $175m - press agency.
Yahoo! Inc, owner of the second-most popular US internet search engine, bought the Arabic-language internet venture Maktoob.com last month for $175 million, state-run Amman-based Petra news agency has reported.
The online search and entertainment giant said in August it was thrilled to announce the acquisition but previous estimates had put the value of the deal at $100m.
Maktoob said it expects the acquisition to complete in the fourth quarter.
The move represents Yahoo!’s first major step into the region. The search giant has 20 million users in the Middle East despite no Arabic service.
Yahoo! products will now become available to users in the Middle East, starting with email in Arabic. All products will be co-branded, the firm said.
Yahoo! has made assurances it was aware of local sensitivities and laws and would maintain Maktoob's editorial policy.