Amazon.com to acquire shopping site Woot

Amazon.com plans to acquire online discount retailer Woot.com, the smaller site announced Wednesday.

Woot, which offers one item for sale each day, didn't disclose the terms of the deal. The company will continue to operate independently from its Carrollton, Texas, headquarters, Woot CEO Matt Rutledge said in a letter to employees published on the site.

"We plan to continue to run Woot the way we have always run Woot -- with a wall of ideas and a dartboard," Rutledge wrote. "From a practical point of view, it will be as if we are simply adding one person to the organizational hierarchy, except that one person will just happen to be a billion-dollar company that could buy and sell each and every one of you like you were office furniture."

Last July, Amazon announced it would buy online shoe and apparel retailer Zappos.com for US$847 million in cash and stock. Amazon purchased audio book seller Audible in a $300 million deal, announced in January 2008.

Electronics wholesaler Rutledge launched Woot in July 2004. It started as an employee store and marketing testing site, according to information on Woot.com. In recent days, Woot has offered for sale the iPod Nano, filtered water bottles, a camcorder, a digital picture frame and a television set.

Woot operates several other retail sites, including Wine.woot.com and Shirt.woot.com, which sells T-shirts.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantusG. Grant's e-mail address is grant_gross@idg.com.

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