[Wash Post] Amazon.Com Buys 2 Online Start-Ups.

I Find Karma (adam@cs.caltech.edu)
Thu, 6 Aug 1998 06:14:49 -0700

Add Amazon to the list that includes Microsoft, Intel, IBM, Cisco, Sun,
Novell, Netscape, Yahoo, and Oracle as companies that are buying up
other computer companies wherever possible...


I guess this is the cheapest way to do R&D in the computer industry.
And I guess most people involved do well when their company gets bought.
So I suppose I should be happier about the continual mergers in this
industry -- or in telecom, or in entertainment, or in media -- than I
actually am.

Amazon is still an amazing company: no profits expected until at least
2001, and a bunch debts in accounts payable that could lead to trouble
if the payees want the money up front instead of in 90 days, and yet a
market cap of what, $6 billion?

[To put in perspective, though, Time magazine this week tells us Bill
Gates is worth $65 billion, or roughly 11 Amazons... :]

> Amazon.com Buys 2 Online Start-Ups
> By Elizabeth Corcoran
> Washington Post Staff Writer
> Wednesday, August 5, 1998; Page D11
> Amazon.com, the biggest bookseller on the Internet, said yesterday that
> it will pay $280 million in stock for two other Internet start-up
> companies, Junglee and PlanetAll. The move is part of Seattle-based
> Amazon's long-term strategy to be not just a bookstore but also a
> central online shopping site for many types of goods.
> Junglee, a Sunnyvale, Calif., company founded in 1996, has won high
> marks for its search technology that enables consumers to compare prices
> of a wide variety of products. So far, the technology has been used by
> Internet services such as Yahoo, Compaq Computer Corp. and Cnet. The
> Washington Post Co. has been the single largest investor in Junglee and
> holds a seat on the company's board.
> PlanetAll, based in Cambridge, Mass., offers a Web-based address,
> calendar and reminder service that also works on many hand-held devices,
> such as the Palm Pilot from 3Com. An estimated 1.5 million people
> subscribe to the service, which is free and performs such tasks as
> sending appointment reminders.
> According to Jeff Bezos, Amazon's founder and chief executive, the two
> start-ups will strengthen the services Amazon already offers. "Junglee
> is about making it easier for people to find the things they'd like to
> buy online," Bezos said. "PlanetAll is a true innovation in keeping
> track of your friends and associations."
> Genni Combes, an Internet analyst with investment bank Hambricht & Quist
> in San Francisco, said, "Amazon wants to be the first place consumers go
> for e-commerce." Although the company is best known for selling books
> online, it recently added music compact discs to its wares. Combes said
> she expects to see Amazon sell other categories of goods over time.
> Junglee and PlanetAll's technologies will enhance the customer services
> Amazon can offer, she said. "It's like Nordstrom's service at Wal-Mart
> prices," she said.
> For instance, if a consumer is looking for goods that Amazon doesn't
> carry, Junglee technology will help point that person toward the best
> deals online. The technology from PlanetAll, by contrast, will send
> Amazon subscribers reminders about upcoming events -- a spouse's
> birthday, for example -- based on information they have provided to the
> service. If subscribers add details about, for example, a friend's taste
> in music or books, the service will suggest new releases of a similar
> nature.
> Amazon posted sales of about $87 million in its March quarter,
> approximately nine times the online sales of bookseller Barnes & Noble
> during a comparable period. Even so, Combes doesn't expect to see a
> profit from Amazon until 2001.
> But so far, investors have been upbeat about the company. Yesterday,
> Amazon's stock closed at $109.87 1/2, up $1.62 1/2.


If you look at the calander, January 1, 2000 falls on a Saturday. Since
the first is a Saturday, that Monday will be a holiday, so companies
will have a three-day weekend to fix any problems that may arise...