Seattle’s online retailing giant is expected to expand its presence in the world of Internet wine sales, after posting a job advert for a senior buyer last week.
Amazon said the successful candidate would be “responsible for the acquisition of massive new product selection”, and “will work to build [an] entirely new selection from the ground up”.
Considering Amazon’s size, its move into online wine sales will likely add to controversy in the US over interstate alcohol sales.
Amazon posted the job advert last Thursday, but has so far refused to elaborate on its plans. It already allows America’s biggest online wine retailer, www.wine.com, to sell food baskets via the Amazon site.
Retailers and wholesalers in the US have been at loggerheads for months over consumers’ right to buy alcohol directly from suppliers outside their own state.
Last week, the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America wrote to every state, asking each to enforce the law on illegal interstate alcohol shipping.
Wholesalers fear they could be side-stepped in a breakdown of US three-tier distribution system. They argue direct sales would be harder to regulate and could lead to tax revenue losses in some states.
Many states still have a ban on interstate sales, but there are signs the market is opening up. A judge in Texas last month became the latest of several to rule that authorities had been wrong to stop consumers from buying wine outside state borders. [24×7]
Microsoft Tech-Fest Introduces Search Together
Microsoft threw open the doors to its worldwide research laboratories last week at its seventh annual TechFest event, an information technology expo during which the world’s largest software maker revealed programs designed to make solitary Internet searches a thing of the past.
The event debuted Search Together, a new plug-in to Internet Explorer that will help students, medical researchers and other prolific Web users collaborate on projects, allowing them to jointly save different searches and avoid redundancy. Another new project, CoSearch, is being designed to let groups of people participate in a Web search on a single computer by using multiple mice or even mobile phones. [24×7]