America Online (AOL) and Amazon.com are announcing a three-year distribution deal. It calls for Amazon.com to receive a front-screen button on the AOL.com home page, linking users directly to the bookseller.
In addition, the companies will introduce a navigational tool to allow users to link to relevant Amazon.com search results from AOL. In return, AOL will receive a $19 million payment over three years.
"This is a significant step in Amazon's strategy of expanding our reach to online users," said Amazon.com chief executive Jeff Bezos.
It calls for Amazon.com to make a "multimillion-dollar Internet advertising buy" on Excite, lets users buy books while browsing Excite's channels, and lines up the bookseller to create original content for the channels. The search engine also will offer Netizens links that take them directly to the related Amazon.com search results page. The links are expected to be in place by year's end.
"The Web has established itself as a valuable medium for consumers searching for all kinds of information, including books," Excite chief executive George Bell said.
The companies said they will offer Netizens direct links to related Amazon.com book titles from every Yahoo search result and book category page.
"This alliance provides a seamless transition for Yahoo users, researching information on books and related sites, to now include the ability to purchase relevant books directly from Amazon.com," Yahoo chief executive Jeff Mallett said in a statement.
These deals are becoming commonplace as Internet companies try to set themselves apart from competitors and provide an added hook to lure advertisers and customers.
Last week, Excite said it will provide direct online ticketing and live event information through an agreement with Ticketmaster. In addition, the search engine firm announced last month that it would team up with Intuit to create a financial channel. Intuit also said it would pay $40 million for a 19 percent stake in Excite.
Amazon.com's stock jumped 20 percent last Thursday after an investment firm initiated coverage with a "buy" recommendation. The stock was at 27-5/8 in afternoon trading, up 3-5/8 from yesterday's close. The company set an IPO price of $18 a share.