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November 3, 1999

Software Agents Take Over Online Malls

By CBR Staff Writer

Online shopping will soon be populated by armies of software agents who roam around retailers’ web sites, haggling with each other for the best deal, according to a report by Deloitte Consulting, the consultancy arm of international audit and accountancy firm Deloitte & Touche. These agents, or ‘bots’ will be able to make decisions on the basis of user preferences over warranties, prices, delivery times, says The New Economics of Transaction. The first versions of this type of software are already available. Deloitte cites www.books.com, which can compare prices between web sites in a certain sector such as amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com, take advantage of the competition by playing one off against the other and get a discount.

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