Yahoo!-Maktoob merger close to being finalised

Yahoo!’s acquisition of Arab internet portal Maktoob.com should be completed within the next fortnight, according to a senior figure close to the takeover negotiations.

Tags: Maktoob GroupUnited Arab EmiratesYahoo! Incorporated
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Yahoo!-Maktoob merger close to being finalised Yahoo!-Maktoob deal is almost done.
By  ITP.net Staff Writer Published  October 22, 2009

Yahoo!’s acquisition of Arab internet portal Maktoob.com should be completed within the next fortnight, according to a senior figure close to the takeover negotiations.

“We’re almost there, and the deal will be signed within the next two weeks,” says Hussein Freijeh, Advertising Sales Director at Maktoob.com.

“There are some small technical issues holding it up; legal issues involving the splitting of the Maktoob.com entity from [its sister websites],” he adds.

Yahoo! and Maktoob.com first announced the deal in August this year. After the eventual sale of Maktoob.com, the remaining Maktoob Group companies - including Souq.com, cashU.com, Araby.com, and Tahadi.com - will operate under a new entity called the Jabbar Internet Group.

The value of the deal remains undisclosed, but analysts have speculated that it may be worth as much as $100m.

Yahoo! has already announced that it aims to deliver relevant Arabic-language content and services, as well as Arabic versions of its popular messenger and mail services.

Freijeh says that work is already underway on the Yahoo! Maktoob Arabic homepage, which would debut in the first half of next year.

Maktoob.com was founded in 2000 by Samih Toukan and Hussam Khoury as the world’s first free Arabic/English web-based email service, and currently counts more than 16.5 million unique users in the Arab world.

While internet usage in the Middle East has grown more than tenfold since 2000, most markets are still in the early stages of adoption. According to the World Bank, there are more than 320 million Arabic speaking internet users worldwide, while less than 1% of all online content is in Arabic. 

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