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Amazon has confirmed it is planning to launch its retail services in Australia – although when exactly remains unclear.

Without giving a time frame, Amazon said retail was its next step for the country following launches of a Kindle Store for the Australian market in 2013 and of its cloud computing business Amazon Web Services in the region in 2013, . It also said it will open up its third-party marketplace to small Australian businesses.

Amazon said:

We are excited to bring thousands of new jobs to Australia, millions of dollars in additional investment, and to empower small Australian businesses through Amazon Marketplace. We are optimistic that by focusing on the things we believe customers value most – low prices, vast selection, and fast delivery – over time we’ll earn the business of Australian customers.

Talk of the online retail giant’s plans to enter the Australian market has been swirling for months. National Australian Bank found Australian consumers spent an estimated A$20bn buying goods and services online in the twelve months to June, up 13.5 per cent on the previous year.

Amazon last month agreed to buy Middle Eastern online retailer Souq.com in a deal worth more than $650m.

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