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Tuesday, April 27, 1999 Published at 06:43 GMT 07:43 UK


Business: The Company File

Amazon's shopping spree

Amazon: Expanding its range of books on the Internet

The online bookshop, Amazon, has embarked on a shopping spree of its own and bought three Internet firms for $645m.

Amazon said it wanted to increase its range of books and music and create auction and retail space for independent dealers.

The Seattle-based company said it would purchase Exchange.com, an online trader in rare, antiquarian and used books and music, Accept.com, an e-commerce company in Redwood City, California, and Alexa Internet, another e-commerce company based in San Francisco.

Exchange.com operates Bibliofind.com, which has more than 9 million used and antiquarian book listings, and MusicFile.com, which offers more than 3 million recordings and music memorabilia for sale.

All three acquisitions are expected to go through by 30 June.

Greetings

Amazon has also announced it is to enter the electronic greeting card business, further expanding the options available from its site.

In a separate announcement, Amazon said it would offer more than 800 cards in 45 categories, all without charge or registration.

It is the company's first completely free service and the first time Amazon has offered a product created in-house.

As with most e-cards, Amazon's offerings are designed for Internet viewing rather than for printing and mailing, said David Risher, senior vice president of product development.

Card senders can design their own messages to accompany hundreds of illustrations, photographs and animations.

Greeting card Web sites have proliferated in recent years. Many, such as Hallmark's hallmark.com, charge as much as $2.50. Others, like industry leader Blue Mountain Arts of Boulder, Colorado, charge nothing and try to make money from online advertising.

Amazon's e-card site, accessible by link from the company's home page, will also be available at http://www.cards.amazon.com.





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The Company File Contents

In this section

Microsoft trial mediator welcomed

Vodafone takeover battle heats up

Christmas turkey strike vote

NatWest bid timetable frozen

France faces EU action over electricity

Pace enters US cable heartland

Mannesmann fights back

Storehouse splits up Mothercare and Bhs

The rapid rise of Vodafone

The hidden shopping bills

Europe's top net stock

Safeway faces cash demand probe

Mitchell intervenes to help shipyard

New factory creates 500 jobs

Drugs company announces 300 jobs

BT speeds internet access

ICL creates 1,000 UK jobs

National Power splits in two

NTT to slash workforce

Scoot links up with Vivendi

New freedom for Post Office

Insolvent firms to get breathing space

Airtours profits jump 12%

Freeserve shares surge

LVMH buys UK auction house

Rover - a car firm's troubles