RealTime IT News

Amazon, Bertelsmann Face Off Over Online Music Sales

Last week, Amazon.com took its competition into the courtroom. On Tuesday, the fight moved to Europe.

Bertelsmann Online (BOL), the e-commerce site of Bertlesmann AG, Tuesday unveiled plans to add online music sales to its repertoire in Europe. Amazon (AMZN) countered by announcing it has listed 200,000 titles to its online music selection in the UK and Germany.

BOL's operations in the UK, Germany, France and the Netherlands will sell CDs by the end of November. BOL Switzerland and BOL Spain will add the new line of products next year.

"Only eight months after starting with books, the inclusion of music titles in our service represents a milestone in the development of BOL into a full service Internet media shop," said Heinz Wermelinger, BOL International's president and CEO. "CDs, alongside videos, DVDs, magazines and digital content for the Rocket eBook, will make BOL even more attractive in 2000."

BOL expects the launch to propel BOL into the forefront of international e-commerce through holiday promotions.

BOL debuted in the UK in March, expanding its operations to Germany, France, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland. Amazon operates in the US as well as in the UK and Germany.

Bertelsmann has a 40 percent stake in barnesandnoble.com, which Amazon.com slapped with a lawsuit last week over allegedly violating its patent on 1-Click technology. Amazon says that a patent received in September prevents barnesandnoble.com from using technology which allows users to shop continuously, without requiring the user to repeatedly enter billing information.