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E-commerce deals abound

AOL announces a retail alliance with Cyberian Outpost, while giants Barnes & Noble and Disney also strike a pact.

AOL Networks and Cyberian Outpost inked a deal today that calls for Cyberian to be the exclusive retailer of new computer hardware and peripherals on the AOL Computing Channel.

Under the deal, AOL will receive payments of $5 million and share in revenue. "The sales of computers and peripherals is one of the fastest-growing and most significant online markets," AOL chief executive Bob Pittman said in a statement.

In another e-commerce deal, Disney Online and Barnes & Noble struck a pact to sell Disney books on each other's Web sites. More than 2,000 Disney titles (Mickey's Gourmet Cookbook, for example) will be offered. Barnes & Noble will handle the e-commerce side of the agreement. Further terms were not disclosed.

Computers, software, and books are among the most popular products to sell online, according to analysts. Competition is stiff, however. Just today, for example, Egghead Computer said it would greatly expand its online business in lieu of sales through retail stores. In the bookselling arena, is a major player and Borders soon plans to add an online store to its Web site.