According to Amazon spokesman Bill Curry, the site went down at 12:14 p.m. and was back up and running at 12:50 p.m. He declined to specify the cause of the outage, but did say that it had nothing to do with the company's new stores.
"Our site is a large, complex system," Curry said. "Occasionally, it has hiccups--and it hiccuped."
When shut down the site read, "We're sorry but our books, music, video, toys, and electronics stores are closed temporarily. We expect to be back soon. Again, we apologize for any inconvenience, and thank you for your patience."
In September 1998, Amazon's site was down for nine hours. This mirrored a similar situation in January 1998 when the Amazon site went down for nearly 12 hours.
EBay's Web site has suffered numerous unplanned outages in recent months.