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Amazon to dominate the diaper market with Quidsi acquisition

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Raising a baby is a pricey proposition, but is it the venture really worth $500 million? Amazon.com Inc. seems to think so.

The e-commerce giant is coughing up the cash -- and taking on about $45 million in debt and other obligations -- to buy Quidsi Inc., which operates Diapers.com and general goods website Soap.com.

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“I’m not sure which is more unpleasant -- changing diapers, paying too much for them, or running out of them,” Jeff Bezos, chief executive of Amazon, said in a statement. “This acquisition brings together two companies who are committed to providing great prices and fast delivery to parents, making one of the chores of being a parent a little easier and less expensive.”

Diapers.com sells, well, diapers, as well as an assortment of baby faves such as formulas, sippy cups and toys. Soap.com features products including detergents, cosmetics and toilet paper.

Once the deal closes in December, Quidsi will continue to run independently under its current management team.

Amazon has made a habit of bringing competitors into its fold, picking up footwear and apparel company Zappos.com Inc. and book-reading software company Lexcycle last year.

-- Tiffany Hsu


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