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Homestore.com, big movers constructing Web site

The Internet home and real estate company is teaming with five moving companies to build a Web site that will allow consumers to purchase moving services over the Web.

Internet home and real estate company Homestore.com today said it is teaming with five moving companies to build a Web site that will allow consumers to purchase moving services over the Web.

Homestore, along with Allied, Bekins, Mayflower, North American and United Van Lines, are developing iMove.com, which will be a type of online source for consumer information and services related to moving, the Thousand Oaks, Calif.-based company said.

In much the same way that airlines have embraced technology to expedite reservations, iMove hopes to automate the moving process, targeting what analysts estimate to be a $12.2 billion market.

Later this year, iMove is expected to furnish consumers with a way to purchase moving services online using interactive software tools, video tutorials, consumer quality ratings, and online competitive price quote and reservation technology, the company said. The company is expected to begin business operations early next year.

Homestore's family of Web sites includes Homestore.com, Realtor.com, HomeBuilder.com, SpringStreet.com and Homefair.com. Last week, Homestore.com said it bought Hessel Group, a technology provider for the relocation industry, for an undisclosed sum.

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