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BT Launches Comparison Shopping Service

BT Tuesday launched btspree.com, a comparison shopping service developed in conjunction with Inktomi Corp.

Visitors to btspree.com will be able compare products, prices and brands across a whole range of goods from over 70 retailers, including flowers, chocolate, lingerie, clothing, books, games, and CDs. BT says there are already 2 million different items listed.

"btspree.com enables people to shop in a traditional way, comparing prices from the comfort of a PC or any other online device," said Bill Cockburn, group managing director of BTUK.

"The service offers so much more than existing Internet shopping facilities in terms of help on pricing, brands and products, enabling the consumer to make the best choices from one single site."

A subscription-free service that does not require registration, btspree.com can be accessed from anywhere on the Internet, not just via BT's own Internet services. Many of the products on offer are actually from sites based in the United States. In a statement, BT says that considerable savings can still be made even when carriage costs from the United States are included.

BT has a licence to use and resell re-branded Inktomi search technologies. It also hosts Inktomi European search servers at Bletchley Park Cybercentre. The new shopping comparator is the latest project to emerge from the cooperation between the two companies.

Top management at BT are clearly pleased that the site has been launched before Christmas, enabling users to purchase gifts online and have them shipped in time for the holiday.

"There's no excuse now for not being able to find the right gift," said Cockburn.