Amazon.com Inc., a global e-commerce titan that also owns the grocery giant Whole Foods Market and the home furnishings retailer Home Depot, is acquiring OA Robotics, a logistics company focused on building and selling automated logistics solutions for the auto industry.
The combined company will focus on logistics and automation technologies, according to people familiar with the transaction.
OA will continue to operate the business as a standalone business.
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, the people said.
Amazon.org spokeswoman Amy Johnson declined to comment.
OAA is the largest logistics provider in the U.S. and is a leading provider of automated logistics, such as the AmazonFresh service.
The Amazon.net business is Amazon’s third-largest logistics business, after grocery delivery companies UPS and FedEx.
OAH Robotics plans to launch a new automated delivery service called OAH Logistics, which will allow customers to order and track packages using a smartphone app, said a person familiar with its plans.
The OAH team is focused on improving delivery efficiency and delivering higher quality products and service to customers, said the person, who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly about the transaction and requested anonymity.
OAG also is looking to acquire other logistics companies and has interest in OAA Robotics, the person said.
The move comes after Amazon.gov, which is a unit of Amazon Web Services, announced that it would be buying the home delivery service Zagster.
Zagsters are Amazon’s grocery delivery systems that can be deployed on trucks and delivery vans.
Amazon also has a deal with UPS to offer delivery of Amazon products via a mobile app, a move that could make it easier for UPS to acquire Zagzers.
Amazon said it expects to complete the acquisition of Zagzer, and it will be available for direct purchase in the coming months.
The acquisition of OA and OAH could also increase Amazon’s exposure to logistics and logistics-related companies that rely on Amazon’s delivery platform, such, FedEx and UPS, the company said.
In a report published in August, the Washington-based research firm McKinsey & Co. said Amazon is the fastest-growing logistics company in the world, surpassing Walmart, which has the second-largest market share.
It said Amazon’s overall business, excluding its own delivery business, has grown by 20 percent in the past year, and Amazon has become the largest delivery service provider in 20 major markets.
Amazon has about 830,000 U.K.-based employees, the report said.
OAP has about 2,500 employees and employs about 1,500 people worldwide.
It is one of several logistics firms Amazon has acquired in recent years, including OAG, ONA and OAG-S, the McKinsey report said, citing people familiar.
OAW Robotics and OAA Logistics have been acquiring smaller companies, including logistics suppliers, the study said.