CNET News.com/AP: Amazon patents affiliate programs technologyFeb 27, 2000, 05:01 (8 Talkback[s])
"In a move that could shake up e-commerce, Internet retailer Amazon.com has patented a technology that lets other Web sites send it customers in exchange for a commission.
"These "affiliate programs" are commonly used by many sites, including Amazon competitors, to enhance sales. Amazon's possession of a patent on the technology could allow the company to prohibit others from using it, or Amazon could charge them a fee if they want to use it."
""If they choose to enforce this, it may radically impact aspects of emerging technology for Web shopping," Rob Labatt, an analyst at the research firm Gartner Group, said Friday. "The $64,000 question is whether they'll enforce it."
"Amazon wouldn't say today what plans it has for the new patent."