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Stealth mode Amazon.com gets into search

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Amazon.com has sent a shot across Google's bows by setting up a search engine operation in Google's backyard. Rather than a general purpose search, Amazon.com is staffing up its its A9 subsidiary to produce a comparative shopping search engine, the Wall Street Journal reports. Yahoo! launched a shopping search site earlier this week.

Amazon will license the technology to third parties, raising a tantalizing question of vertical integration: because Amazon will effectively be competing with its licensees.

Google already operates a shopping comparison site with Froogle, which is characteristically fast and easy to use, while Amazon.com uses Google technology for its online store. But it isn't all sweetness and light between the two giants.

According to the WSJ, Amazon has placed search guru Udi Manber in charge of recruitment for A9. A search for Udi Manber on Google reveals this advertisement in pride of place, on behalf of …

Hiring

Clearly, Google wants to get to the talent before Udi does. Isn't targeted search great, kids? ®

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