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Wed June 16 2010 21:53:39

Could Amazon Replace Microsoft's Bing Cashback?

By: Ina Steiner

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Citing an anonymous source, Business Insider says Amazon.com and Microsoft are in talks over a deal that could see Amazon taking over the Bing search portal's shopping engine. Contacted this afternoon, a Microsoft spokesperson told me, "We do not comment on rumors or speculation."

As I reported two weeks ago, Microsoft announced plans to close the Bing Cashback program, which rewards consumers for shopping on Bing. Business Insider said Amazon felt that news made it the right time to approach Microsoft with a pitch that it should "basically outsource the shopping tab on Bing to Amazon."

The move could make sense in that Google has a search platform and a strong relationship with retailers, while Microsoft has a search platform but does not have the same kind of retailer relationship or expertise - Amazon.com's strong suit.

Merchant products show up on Google search results, and in Google Shopping (Product Search) results. Likewise, products can show up on Bing search results, and in Bing Shopping results. Today, merchants send their product feeds to Google for exposure on Google Shopping, and Google is able to create optional paid services and features (product extensions, a beta CPA program, displaying inventory levels at local retailers,...).

Using its expertise, Amazon could do the same for Microsoft Bing, opening up new revenue streams for Bing, while leveraging the relationship to drive adoption of its own Amazon payment service. Seen that way, it's boggling to imagine all the possible upsides to Microsoft and Amazon of such a partnership.

Microsoft Bing competes squarely with Google in search. And Google competes with Amazon in product search. As the proverb goes, "the enemy of my enemy is my friend." Google wields enormous power in ecommerce, and even retailers are growing concerned. The topic came up at last week's Internet Retailer conference during the Question and Answer segment of a Google's VP's keynote address.

Stephanie Tilenius, formerly of eBay, was asked whether Google would allow transactions to take place directly on Google. She said she would ask that question back to the audience for their feedback, and said Google did not have any plans to do that right now.

"Right now we're not a retailer or competing with our,... with many of you."

The answer was not reassuring to some of the retailers I spoke with after the keynote, who pointed out the qualifying words, "right now."

Retailers might welcome a stronger competitor to Google, but they might also fear Amazon.com would yield even more power than it does already.

In the meantime, we'll just have to wait to see if there's any substance to today's rumor.




Comments (11) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Could Amazon Replace Microsoft's Bing Cashback?   Could Amazon Replace Microsoft's Bing Cashback?

by: Troglodyte

Wed Jun 16 23:15:22 2010

Stephanie Tilenius's mouth is full of nitroglycerin -- unstable, unreliable, and could explode at any moment spewing more tightly guarded Google Secrets.

I'd say ole Steph reached her level of competence four or five jobs ago.

Could Amazon Replace Microsoft's Bing Cashback?   Could Amazon Replace Microsoft's Bing Cashback?

by: pete

Wed Jun 16 23:50:10 2010

As each passing week goes by; the once mighty eBay is becoming less relevant and it's long term future must now be in doubt...especially if Amazon link into Google Checkout

Could Amazon Replace Microsoft's Bing Cashback?   Could Amazon Replace Microsoft's Bing Cashback?

by: English Majorette

Thu Jun 17 02:13:10 2010

@Ming/Troglodyte/etc....are you OK? Still keeping at this?

Could Amazon Replace Microsoft's Bing Cashback?   Could Amazon Replace Microsoft's Bing Cashback?

by: Avid AB reader

Thu Jun 17 02:46:51 2010

Sounds like a winner if Amazon allowed smaller merchants to do product feeds like Google does for their Product Search.

Could Amazon Replace Microsoft's Bing Cashback?   Could Amazon Replace Microsoft's Bing Cashback?

by: Enough Z Nuff

Thu Jun 17 07:48:59 2010

Selling a popular item on Amazon now, for the best price of any seller over there. 1 month and not 1 sale.

So Amazon is not for everyone, and I so wanted it to be, as I have had enough of the abuse ebay administers to us sellers.

Could Amazon Replace Microsoft's Bing Cashback?   Could Amazon Replace Microsoft's Bing Cashback?

by: Troglodyte

Thu Jun 17 12:44:54 2010

@ English Majorette

You bet! Until I drop. You and ebay deserve nothing less.

Run out of ideas today for more draconian anti seller policies?

Could Amazon Replace Microsoft's Bing Cashback?   Could Amazon Replace Microsoft's Bing Cashback?

by: TomH

Thu Jun 17 14:34:16 2010

I for one hope something comes of it. A bit of real competition for Google would be good. Like eBay before, Google is amassing a bit too much control of things. And, Yes, I do think Google, though not much, does do evil at time in the internet.

Could Amazon Replace Microsoft's Bing Cashback?   Could Amazon Replace Microsoft's Bing Cashback?

by: GamesOgre
Web Site

Thu Jun 17 17:21:17 2010

I've been selling retro video games on eBay for a while now. eBay certainly has its flaws, but Amazon doesn't seem much better. Both are certainly big, but I have trouble imagining either teaming with Microsoft.

Could Amazon Replace Microsoft's Bing Cashback?   Could Amazon Replace Microsoft's Bing Cashback?

by: Etc

Thu Jun 17 20:30:33 2010

Majorette, is that actually you Stephanie?

Geez, I hope you don't do for Google what you did for ebay.

Hiring you took them one step closer to the Darkness.

Could Amazon Replace Microsoft's Bing Cashback?   Could Amazon Replace Microsoft's Bing Cashback?

by: MarshellaSmith This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jun 18 01:59:33 2010

I don’t know and I don’t care. I know Bing Cash Back will be no more after 30th July, 2010. But, why people are so upset with Bing’s closing bell? We have so many cash back sites like FatWallet, AAfter Search, BigCrumbs and lots more to make use of.

Could Amazon Replace Microsoft's Bing Cashback?   Could Amazon Replace Microsoft's Bing Cashback?

by: Hayden

Thu Jun 24 13:01:26 2010

I agree with MarshellaSmith. Sites like FatWallet have been offering cashback for years, and will continue to do so. These are the places we should be going; they have good partnerships with TONS of merchants.



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