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Amazon unveils video retail site

But Buy.com wants a piece of its action

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Amazon.com has begun selling videos, as predicted. The new service offers 60,000 videos and 2000 DVD titles to its US customers, the company said. However, the service hasn't been rolled out in the UK -- in fact, Amazon.co.uk has yet to offer music CDs, which its US parent has been selling since July. Amazon.com also opened a Christmas Gifts store, providing seasonal tat for surfers who no longer get down to the High Street of a Saturday afternoon. "It's the easiest way to get gifts since Santa Claus," claimed self-confessed nerd ("My dog's named after a Star Trek character") Jeff Bezos. The gift site offers tastefully-wrapped books, CDs and videos (ie. what the company is selling elsewhere) plus gadgets and gizmos for grown-ups and kids, such as Palm III organisers, digital cameras and Miss Spider Lunchboxes. Amazon's move comes just after news that online computer hardware and software seller Buy.com (renamed from Buycomp.com) has bought Amazon wannabe Speedserve. Buy.com will be using Speedserve's online book, CD and videos retail site specifically to target Amazon, said CEO Scott Blum, beginning with a $25 million ad campaign a portion of which will go to Ziff-Davis' Web sites. Ziff-Davis is, of course, owned by Japan's Softbank, which... er... also owns a stake in Buy.com... "It's our goal to leapfrog [Amazon CEO] Jeff Bezos," said Blum. "The bottom line is, we have better pricing than he has." ®

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