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Snap.com, XOOM.com Debut Snap Shopping

Hopping on the holiday e-tail bandwagon, portal player Snap.com and online community XOOM.com, Inc. Monday unveiled Snap Shopping.

The Snap Shopping service intends to serve as an online middleman between shoppers and more than 300 merchants, offering reviews, comparison shopper services, and product watches.

Snap Shopping's debut is accompanied by the release of My Wallet, a secure server-side digital wallet which can store multiple billing and shipping addresses as well as credit card information. The card can be accessed for purchases from more than 50 e-tailers.

The companies will pour $45 million into an advertising campaign for the site, with heavy emphasis on merchant offerings.

The service will use technology developed by XOOM.com's (XMCM) LiquidMarket division to search for products in nine categories and to produce a price comparison list for the items. Categories include toys, electronics, computer hardware and software, music, video, office supplies and home and garden.

Snap Shopping's Price Alert allows customers to name a price for a specific product, then notifies customers by e-mail when a merchant has agreed to the offer.

Third-party product reviews will be made available through a deal with Productopia. Snap Shopping users will have access to BizRate.com's merchant rankings, which rates customer feedback for 2,100 companies. BizRate was added to the Snap portal in September.

"With today's launch of Snap Shopping, Snap.com users will be able to find and buy anything they are looking for on the Web from multiple retailers, all from one centralized, convenient, easy-to-use, secure location," said Edmond Sanctis, Snap.com's CEO.

Snap.com, a venture created by NBC and CNET (CNET), is in the process of merging with Xoom.com and NBC to form the NBC Interactive (NBCi) pure Internet company.