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[FYI] Amazon patents affiliate programs technology


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Amazon patents affiliate programs technology  

By The Associated Press  

Special to CNET News.com  

February 25, 2000, 5:00 p.m. PT  

SEATTLE--In a move that could shake up e-commerce, Internet retailer 
Amazon.com has patented a technology that lets other Web sites send 
it customers in exchange for a commission.  

These "affiliate programs" are commonly used by many sites, including 
Amazon competitors, to enhance sales. Amazon's possession of a patent 
on the technology could allow the company to prohibit others from 
using it, or Amazon could charge them a fee if they want to use it.  

"If they choose to enforce this, it may radically impact aspects of 
emerging technology for Web shopping," Rob Labatt, an analyst at the 
research firm Gartner Group, said Friday. "The $64,000 question is 
whether they'll enforce it."  

Amazon wouldn't say today what plans it has for the new patent.  


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