Comdex: Buy.com takes on Amazon

Buycomp.com announced Monday that it was acquiring a subsidiary of Ingram Entertainment Group and opening up an "e-commerce portal" to sell books, CDs, games and videos online.

David Ingram, chairman of Ingram Entertainment, will join the board of directors at Buycomp.com. The new stores will run under the buy.com portal, officials for the company said.

The company will launch a $25 million (£15 million) ad campaign for the new sites, which went live Monday. The campaign will kick off with a commercial on Monday night football tonight. Softbank Holdings owns a stake in Buy.com. Softbank is a majority shareholder in Ziff-Davis Inc.

"It's pretty clear that Amazon.com is our major competitor," said Buy.com CEO Scott Blum. "It's our goal to leapfrog [Amazon CEO] Jeff Bezos. The bottom line is, we have better pricing than he has."

Buy.com guarantees that it will beat competitors' prices -- and does so by selling items below cost if necessary. The company makes its money through advertising, although it has not yet declared a profit in its one-year history.

It has however managed to sell more than $111 million (£67 million) in computer products in the past 12 months, officials said at a press conference Monday. The book, games and video stores mark the company's first departure from hard ware and software.

The stores will all be available through the buy.com site, and through variations on the name, such as buysoft.com and buybooks.com. Blum said the company has purchased more than 3,000 domains, as part of it branding efforts.

The company plans to launch stores in Europe next quarter and in Asia and South America sometime next year.

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