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Amazon Confirms Auction Plans, Takes Pets.com Stake

In a one-sentence statement, Amazon.com Corp. Monday announced plans to start an online auction service that will have it going up against eBay Inc. and Onsale, among others.

The company also announced it was taking a 50 percent stake in Pets.com, an online pet products retailer.

The company did not release any other information about the auction service. Company spokesman Bill Curry said more details will come once the service launches.

The announcement follows widespread speculation and is in keeping with Amazon.com's (AMZN) goal to continue broadening its product lines which have grown to include music and videos.

Amazon's investment in Pets.com will be used to increase brand awareness, expand e-commerce and advertising revenue streams and help build distribution through partnerships and allliances.

"We invest only in companies that share our passion for commerce. Pets.com has a leading market position and its proven management team is dedicated to a great consumer experience...," said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com's founder and chief executive officer.

The company also made a bold move outside its traditional areas late last month when it purchased a 40 percent stake in Drugstore.com, a privately-held company that sells prescription and over-the-counter drugs on the Internet.