Yahoo! Switches Book Partners


Wednesday, September 20th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6


SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Yahoo! Inc. is ending its partnership with Amazon.com Inc., the top online seller of books, and creating a much larger link with Amazon rival barnesandnoble.com.

Until Monday, a search for a topic on Yahoo!, the world's most popular Internet portal, resulted in not only a list of appropriate Web sites but also a link to books on that subject available at Amazon.com.

Starting Tuesday, the suggested vendor will be barnesandnoble.com, which is majority-owned by New York-based Barnes & Noble, the No. 1 book seller in the United States, and German media giant Bertelsmann AG.

The wide-ranging deal will also give barnesandnoble.com premium placement on several Yahoo! pages, such as Yahoo! Shopping. The companies also agreed to share direct marketing efforts and offer promotions together.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it clearly ensures Yahoo! a strong source of revenue at a time when some experts are worried that online advertising is no longer a reliable way to make money. Advertising accounted for about 90 percent of Yahoo!'s revenue in its last quarter.

``This is a great deal for us because I think it's really a landmark relationship with a bricks-and-mortar, highly visible brand,'' said Anil Singh, Yahoo!'s chief sales and marketing officer.

The deal also calls for Barnes & Noble stores to begin offering a CD-ROM that will enable customers to get free Internet access. The service will first take users to a Web page jointly branded by Yahoo! and barnesandnoble.com.

Barnes & Noble spokesman Gus Carlson said the deal represented the ``biggest, most ambitious integrated marketing initiative'' between the company's stores and e-commerce division.

Amazon spokeswoman Lizzie Allen said the Seattle-based company chose not to renew its deal with Yahoo!, which expired at the end of Monday. Instead, Amazon decided in August to extend its partnership with America Online, a deal she said ``was more compelling for various reasons.''

Santa Clara-based Yahoo! also announced a partnership Monday to offer premium product placement and co-brand Internet access with Costco Wholesale Corp., the chain of warehouse stores.

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On the Net:

http://www.yahoo.com

http://www.barnesandnoble.com

http://www.amazon.com