Woot there it is: Amazon buys deal-a-day website

Jun 30, 2010 By RACHEL METZ , AP Technology Writer

(AP) -- Amazon.com Inc. has purchased deal-a-day website Woot.com.

In a joke-laden message on the company blog, Woot CEO Matt Rutledge said the deal won't change how the site is run - "with a wall of ideas and a dartboard."

"For Woot, our vision remains the same: somehow earning a living on snarky commentary and junk," Rutledge wrote.

Financial terms were not disclosed. Amazon spokesman Craig Berman said the Seattle-based online retailer expects to finalize the deal by the end of September.

Amazon already offers daily deals on the "Gold Box" section of its site. The purchase of Woot - with its jocular product descriptions and focus on selling one item every 24 hours - may indicate that the company is increasingly interested in using quirkier methods to reach customers over the Web.

Woot, which is based in Carrollton, Texas, started out in the summer of 2004 as a site that sold one heavily discounted item every day - usually consumer electronics such as printers.

Over the years, Woot has added several different discount sites, including one that sells wine and another that offers T-shirts.

In a phone interview, Rutledge said Amazon had already been a minority investor in his company since 2006, two years after Woot went online. When Amazon invested in the company, there was no indication that the company might eventually buy out Woot, Rutledge said, though he thought it could happen.

"I'm really excited," he said.

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