may turn a profit

Jeff Bezos finally gave Wall Street what it has been clamouring for. The Inc. CEO told analysts that his company would turn a profit in Q4. But investors merely shrugged. The announcement, after all, was less a victory speech than an admission that Amazon is no longer leading a retailing revolution.

Investors had been counting on Amazon to reach profitability on its own terms – by quickly growing its business to a break-even point. Instead, Bezos & Co. are doing it on their critics’ terms – by slashing costs. Since Amazon’s founding in 1995, Bezos has dismissed a howl of criticism about the viability of his money-losing company, opting for sales growth no matter what the cost. When he announced that Amazon would cut 1,300 jobs, shut two facilities and put an additional one on seasonal duty, it was clear the company was taking a sharp turn from its long-planned path to profitability.

EU: spam costs users 10 billion euros a year

The European Commission estimates that Internet users around the world pay 10 billion euros a year in connection charges, just to receive junk e-mails.

A study carried out by the Commission highlights a problem in both the U.S. and the European Union. This study is part of the Commission’s on-going efforts to ensure that the development of the Internet does not undermine Europe’s Internet privacy and data protection. The study comes as the European Union is trying to pass legislation on on-line data privacy. “Unless consumers feel their privacy is adequately protected, the on-line services that are so important to wealth and job creation in Europe are unlikely to flourish,” the Commission said in a statement.

Worldwide B2B estimates raised

EMarketer Inc. has raised its estimates for worldwide business-to-business e-commerce to US$2.7 trillion by 2004, an increase from the $226 billion reported at the end of 2000.

The Internet statistics provider, based in New York, released new estimates as part of a larger report on the B2B side of e-commerce. More than 80 per cent of respondents to multiple surveys said they were focusing on customer service as the most critical element of their e-commerce strategies.