updated 1/31/2008 9:46:09 AM ET 2008-01-31T14:46:09

Online retailer Amazon.com Inc. said Thursday it will buy Audible Inc., which runs the online audiobook retailer Audible.com, in a deal valued at about $300 million to expand its reach in digital audio content.

Amazon said the deal includes Audible's cash and short-term investments.

Under the agreement, Amazon will buy all outstanding Audible shares for $11.50 apiece and take on the company's outstanding stock-based awards as well.

Audible.com offers more than 80,000 programs including audiobooks and spoken-word audio content from news outlets including The New York Times and The New Yorker.

Amazon expects the purchase will enable it bring Audible's digital spoken word and audio content to a broader audience.

The company anticipates the deal will be completed by the second quarter of 2008.

The company said late Wednesday that its fourth-quarter profit more than doubled and forecast strong sales growth for the coming year, but gave operating income guidance below Wall Street expectations.

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