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Amazon.com plans major expansion

Holiday sales were so strong that Amazon.com is committed to a major expansion plan this year, the Net bookseller's CEO says.

Holiday sales were so strong that Amazon.com is committed to a major expansion plan this year, the Internet bookseller's chief executive Jeff Bezos said this week.

As reported, Amazon posted better-than-expected earnings this week. It also said it will raise $1.25 billion by selling notes to institutional investors.

"In 1999 we intend to build out a significant distribution infrastructure," said Bezos, whose comments appeared in a "10K" regulatory filing, as well as this week's earnings release. "We also intend to enhance the scope and quality of products that we provide to our customers."

He added: "In 1999, we expect to invest even more aggressively than we have in the past."

The comments come during a week of more Internet deal making, including Yahoo's buyout of GeoCities, and are a reminder that the giant bookseller does not plan to sit still while others expand.

In its "10-K" filing, Amazon reiterated that it plans to open a new distribution center in Nevada in the first half of 1999. The facility is expected to reduce shipping time for books, videos, and CDs in Amazon's key Western markets by a full day.

Amazon also said that it continued to forge online partnerships. It cited such partners as Microsoft and CBS Sportsline.