Bookseller Borders Group Inc. is handing over its online business to Amazon.com Inc. and will re-launch Borders.com as a co-branded Web site, the companies said Wednesday.

The site, scheduled to debut in August, will feature all books, music, video and DVDs (digital versatile discs) available at Amazon.com. Additionally, Borders.com will continue to have Borders information, such as a directory of the company’s 350 stores as well as in-store event calendars, the companies announced at a news conference in New York.

Amazon.com’s Web site will continue to operate independently.

In September 2000, Amazon.com closed a similar deal with Toysrus.com Inc., with the distinct difference that Toysrus.com handles the toys inventory. Amazon.com will handle the full Borders.com inventory, the companies said.

Amazon and Borders said there is “no equity involved in the deal” and the companies declined to comment further on the economics of the agreement.

Approximately 70 people at Borders.com will be made redundant as a result of the deal, Borders Group president and CEO Greg Josefowicz said, adding that Borders will try to find positions for them elsewhere within the company.

Details on customers of the current Borders.com will not be shared with Amazon.com, unless the customer has “opted-in,” a spokeswoman for Amazon.com said.

Amazon.com CEO and founder Bezos said it is as of yet unknown how many customers Amazon.com is gaining, because the customer databases of both sites haven’t been compared to determine overlap in customers.

Amazon.com and Borders said they would work together to offer new services such as the possibility to reserve a book online for pick-up in a store or same-day delivery, the companies said.

Amazon.com, in Seattle can be reached at http://www.amazon.com/. Borders, in Ann Arbor, Mich., can found at http://www.borders.com/.



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