Yahoo’s acquisition of Jordan-based online portal Maktoob presents a “huge opportunity” for the US company in the Middle East, according to the consultancy firm A.T. Kearney.
The deal – rumoured to be worth US $100m – is also thought to be the largest online media transaction in the Middle East.
“This is a ground breaking deal for Yahoo and Maktoob. Yahoo now has an Arabic presence on the web and Maktoob can now call upon the resources of one of the world’s leading web portals and biggest online advertising providers,” said Dr. Dirk Buchta, senior partner and managing director of A.T. Kearney in the Middle East.
There are approximately 320 million Arabic speakers according to the World Bank yet only one percent of online content is in Arabic. This disparity together with the growing internet access in the Middle East is creating a new opening for online content owners.
“Broadband usage in the GCC is growing fast and is already above 30 percent, versus 60 percent in Europe. It provides a very attractive level of penetration for online business including both e-commerce and generating advertising revenues,” said Christophe Firth, senior consultant in A.T. Kearney’s Media Practice.