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Amazon flows into Canada

The Web retailer launches operations in Canada and is expected to announce the opening of later in the day. launched operations in Canada on Tuesday and is expected to announce the opening of later in the day.

The new site, which was live on Tuesday, is selling Amazon's core products: books, music and video. The site is available in both English and French.

In April, sources told CNET of Amazon's plans to move into Canada. Sources said that Amazon had partnered with Canada Post, the Canadian equivalent to the U.S. Postal Service, to handle much of the distribution and fulfillment for the new site. The move into Canada will allow Amazon to save money on shipping costs.

This is fifth International site that Amazon has launched since first opening in the United States in 1997. Amazon also operates in France, the United Kingdom, Japan and Germany.

Partnering with Canadian companies will help Amazon avoid Canada's strict protectionist laws that have prevented the Web retailer from physically moving into the country sooner. Canada protects its book retailers by restricting foreign companies from establishing a physical presence in Canada on their own. They are allowed to operate businesses jointly with Canadian companies.

Amazon already has strong sales in Canada through its flagship U.S. site, and Canada is the retailer's largest export destination.

Company representatives were not available for comment.