Yahoo! to acquire Arabic Portal Maktoob.com in Middle East push

August 25, 2009

(ChattahBox) — Yahoo Inc. announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Maktoob.com, an Arab online community which claims more than 16.5 million users. Maktoob.com was founded in 2000 as a free Arabic/English Web-based email service, accessed by users in countries, including UAE, Jordan, Kuwait, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

With the acquisition, the Sunnyvale, California-based Internet-portal giant looks to expand its reach in the fast-growing middle east region, and now will be able to offer Arabic versions of its e-mail and messaging services. Internet usage across the Middle East stands at around 23.3 percent, compared to more than 70 percent in the UK and U.S., according to InternetWorldStats.com. Financial terms of the deal, expected to close in the fourth quarter, weren’t disclosed. Under the terms of the agreement, Maktoob.com will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Yahoo!, with current Maktoob general manager Ahmed Nassef set to continue to lead the business after the deal closes.

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