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Retail Giant Amazon Plans Russia Foray

Amazon, the world's biggest online store, will start operating in Russia with the sale of digital content like videos, books and Kindle e-readers, a news report said.

Forbes' Russian edition, which first reported about Amazon's plans, said the Federal Service for Intellectual Property has received bids from Amazon to register trademarks in several categories, including storing and delivering articles and electronically storing texts and audio files.

Forbes didn't say when Amazon's online store might open in Russia.

Amazon executives have appointed Arkady Vitruk, who has led the Atticus Publishing Group owned by Alexander Mamut for nine years, as the head of its Russian office.

According to Morgan Stanley, 19 percent of Russian online shoppers used Amazon last year. The survey included users who shopped at least once a month. Amazon placed fifth by popularity among Russian online shoppers in 2012, after Ozon.ru with 55 percent, eBay.com with 25 percent and Avito.ru and Biglion.ru with 22 percent each.

Almost 70 percent of Russians read electronic books, but only 15.3 percent pay for them, according to a Romir survey.

The Russian market for online book purchases amounted to 250 million rubles ($7.9 million) last year, Vedomosti reported Monday.

About 80 percent of Amazon's articles must be in Russian for the company to establish a successful business here, Ozon commercial director Oleg Chechin told Vedomosti.

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