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RealTime IT News

Amazon Invests in CatalogCity

There are some things you just can't buy without seeing them in a catalog first, and Amazon.com, which boasts "Earth's Biggest Selection," is taking a piece of that action by making a $5 million investment in the company that operates CatalogCity.com.

Amazon.com Inc. said it has made an all-stock, non-cash investment in Altura International, a California-based company that operates the catalog site.

The company issued 717,316 shares of common stock based on the Nov. 8 closing price of $6.97, valuing the investment at $5 million.

CatalogCity.com provides access to various catalog products and merchants, and Amazon said that as part of an accompanying commercial agreement, CatalogCity.com merchants will be featured on Amazon's site and books, music, DVDs and videos will be featured at CatalogCity.com.

CatalogCity's site employs the Altura Merchant Operating System (AMOS), a multi-vendor, multi-lingual, multi-currency merchant operating system. Brand names that sell on the site include Blair, Bombay, Chef's Catalog, Fisher-Price, Gump's by Mail, Hammacher Schlemmer, J.Crew, Ross-Simons, The Sharper Image and TravelSmith.

Founded in September 1997, Altura is a privately held company based in Monterey, Calif.

Separately, Amazon said that Mark S. Hansen, 47, chairman and CEO of Fleming Companies, Inc., a distributor and retailer in the food, drug and specialty store industry, was elected today to its board of directors, becoming the fifth outside director on the six-member board.