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Yahoo, Visa set up shop site

Yahoo and Visa launch the Visa Shopping Guide by Yahoo, a service designed to simplify online shopping.

Yahoo (YHOO) and Visa today launched the Visa Shopping Guide by Yahoo, a service designed to simplify online shopping.

The channel-driven guide features 25 product and service categories, including apparel, travel, and outdoor equipment. It is the latest offering in a crowded but promising field of Internet commerce.

The Visa Shopping Guide aims to offer consumers both online and offline convenience, giving them the tools to research products and compare prices online, regardless of where they actually purchase the products.

The site, which can be accessed through links from either the Yahoo or Visa sites, also features a link to a yellow-pages resource that allows users to find stores and services in their area by typing in their zip code.

Elizabeth Collet, manager of the Visa Shopping Guide by Yahoo, envisions the site as a total shopping resource for surfers who are new to purchasing products over the Internet.

"It is a tool for people who are interested in experimenting in online commerce," Collet said. "There are so many places online; this is our way of helping you weed through that."

Today's news is the latest twist in the tumultuous relationship between the two companies. Last year, Yahoo and Visa announced their intention to create a standalone electronic commerce site, to be called Marketplace. The deal was projected to bring up to $1.65 million to Visa in sales percentages, but it was scrapped in July.

The two companies then announced that their new deal would include e-commerce opportunities throughout Yahoo's network of sites, instead of creating an independent online shopping site.

Yahoo has bought out Visa's 45 percent stake in the venture, taking full ownership while retaining Visa's brand name on the site.

Although Collet declined to comment on the terms of the deal between Visa and Yahoo today, she did say that Yahoo is committed to a future in e-commerce.

"We will definitely continue to grow our presence in online commerce. What part of that Visa's involved with is unclear."