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Amazon to collect donations for poor Web sites – at a price

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Amazon.com today launched a system to let surfers throw cash at their favourite sites.

The 'honour system' is based on Amazon's 1-Click technology, and lets users registered on the dotcom's database make donations - as low as $1 - to their preferred corners of cyberspace.

Amazon gets 15 cents per payment, plus 15 per cent of each transaction. Payers can also take their money back within 30 days if they change their minds.

The service is aimed at sites that cannot afford to set up a payment system, and can be used for donations or for downloading content such as music or video.

Fifty sites have signed up for the launch, including humour site satirewire.com, and seti.org, an organisation that trawls the universe for extraterrestrial intelligence.

Investors will be watching to see if the system helps push the e-tailer into the black - earlier this month Amazon it would reach profit by the fourth quarter of 2001.

Sites can sign up for the service here. ®

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