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Apple takes cut of Amazon.com profits

Sherlock search engine sends buyers to Amazon... and a share of the sale to Apple

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Apple is so desperate for any source of revenue, it seems, it is even taking Amazon.com's shilling. So too is Adobe and a number of other vendors. According to a report on MacWeek.com, the version of Sherlock, Apple's unified file, disk and Web search tool, in MacOS 8.5.1 triggers a payment to the Mac maker every time a user accesses Amazon's Web site via Sherlock. Amazon has long made it a point of policy that it pays 'associates' for funnelling potential buyers into its own site, whether through banner ads or other links. The discovery was made when MacWeek took a closer look at the HTML code used to program the plug-in files Sherlock uses to access specific Web sites. The Barnes & Noble plug-in contains similar code. Apple refused to comment on its arrangement with Amazon -- the company's business relationships are confidential, said a spokeswoman. However, an Amazon spokesman said individual associates can receive up to 15 per cent of the profits from a sale if that transaction began as a link contained in a specific book recommendation on their site. A less specific link to Amazon's site as a whole garners just five per cent of the profits of a sale. The spokesman pointed out the Book Picks section of Adobe's Web site as an associate that gets paid the top rate. That said, he also said the deal with Apple, while non-exclusive did fall outside the usual associate agreement. ® PS. Please, please, please go and buy some books 'n' stuff from those nice Amazon people...

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