Nine e-commerce companies have joined forces in what amounts to a bid to counter the expansion of online bookseller Amazon.com Inc. Two weeks ago, Amazon announced it would offer videos and toys to Christmas shoppers (CI No 3,541). Now rivals CDnow, Cyberian Outpost, Datek Online, eToys, Garden.com, PC Flowers & Gifts, Preview Travel, Reel.com and Virtual Vineyards have joined forces to fight back. The sites have linked to one another and to a front door at shopperconnection.com. They estimate their combined audience at seven to eight million. The network says it is planning several initiatives to improve shopping on the web, such as a common ShopperConnection wallet. For its part, Amazon has signed with Microsoft Corp to become the premier music merchant on MSN’s shopping channel and portal page.
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