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Amazon.com, New York Times Settle

August 9, 1999

SEATTLE (AP) _ Amazon.com Inc. and The New York Times Co. have settled a legal dispute over the online retailer’s use of the Times’ best-seller list in promoting discounts for its books.

Since mid-May, Amazon.com has offered 50 percent discounts on books that appear on the Times’ list.

The Times objected to Amazon’s republication of the list without permission, however saying that it constituted an unlawful use of intellectual property. Amazon filed a federal court lawsuit on June 4, asking that it be allowed to continue to refer to the list.

Under the agreement announced Monday, the Times will allow Amazon to continue using the list, and Amazon will continue to supply the Times with its sales data.

Amazon agreed to delay posting the list until the Times has made it available to the general public and include a disclaimer that the Times is not affiliated with and does not endorse Amazon.com.

Amazon also will continue listing the Times’ best-seller books in alphabetical order, rather than by numerical sales ranking.

Amazon’s major online competitor for book sales, barnesandnoble.com of New York, offers a similar discount for Times’ best-sellers.

Barnes and Noble has an arrangement with The Times under which people who read a book review on the Times’ Web site can click a link and order the book from barnesandnoble.com. Barnes and Noble spokesman Ben Boyd said the deal provides the Times a commission on books sold that way and lets barnesandnoble.com use Times content, including the best-seller list.

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