Abebooks Purchases BookFinder, Looks to the Future
Of course Abe could stack BookFinder to favor their own site and their booksellers. When Amazon purchased Bibliofind, it simply converted it to a site which searched Amazon listings alone. Will this be the future for BookFinder? Abebooks responded with an emphatic "no." "The price comparison search engine will not be altered in any way to favor Abebooks. The integrity of BookFinder.com will remain intact," states Mr. Davies. "Integrity and trust are critical to BookFinder.com's success and we are not going to tamper with a winning formula."
In fact, Abebooks plans no changes at BookFinder. Explains Davies, "They will continue to operate as an independent business. Anirvan Chatterjee and Charlie Hsu will continue to run BookFinder.com as they always have and they will remain at their headquarters in California. The only difference is that now they have access to resources at Abebooks to help them be even more successful."
We asked whether BookFinder had experienced any problems with the other sites it searches, now that it is owned by a competitor in the listing business. Davies responded, "No sites searched by BookFinder.com have withdrawn from their search. Naturally, they asked questions about any changes to BookFinder.com and its search engine when contacted by Anirvan to explain about the acquisition. Like us, Anirvan has stressed no changes will take place, so it has been business as usual at BookFinder.com since the deal's announcement."
Finally, we asked whether Abebooks plans any more purchases in the future. Mr. Davies' response was that Abebooks would continue to look for logical opportunities in the future, though it does not appear that Abe is on some sort of buying spree. Mr. Davies explains, "The BookFinder.com acquisition was not a spur of the moment decision and it was carefully considered over a lengthy period of time. We are very excited about what BookFinder.com could be doing in three or five years because it offers so much potential. We are always thinking about what will be happening in the future because online bookselling changes so rapidly. Abebooks will be 10 years old next May and look at what's happened in those years to illustrate the pace of change in this industry.
"Abebooks grows in several ways - by winning more book-buying customers, by encouraging more booksellers to sell via our sites and also by acquiring companies with much to offer. In October 2004, we purchased Iberlibro.com, Spain's online marketplace for rare and used books, because the Spanish-speaking market offers so much potential for growth. We will continue to look for further acquisition opportunities while also growing organically."