Amazon Tries To Take Bite of Apple

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    LONDON - OCTOBER 02: In this photo illustration an Apple iPod is held near the itunes website which is displayed on a computer screen on October 2, 2006 in London, England. The iPod is currently the world's best-selling digital audio player, with Apple having about half of the global market for MP3 player sales. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

    Amazon.com Inc., seeking to expand its position in the music download market against rivals like Apple Inc.'s iTunes Store, has purchased online music retailer Amie Street for an undisclosed amount.

          In an e-mail to users Wednesday, Amie Street said it has found "a great home" for its site AmieStreet.com with Amazon. The Seattle-based online retailer first invested in the site nearly four years ago, Amie Street said.
         
    Amie Street, which is based in Long Island City, N.Y., was founded in 2006. Unlike online music stores like Amazon MP3 and the iTunes Store, the site has allowed users to buy songs that start off free and become increasingly expensive as they rise in popularity.
         
    The e-mail said that starting Sept. 22, site visitors will be forwarded to Amazon.com Web pages, and the AmieStreet.com service will be shut down. Users have until that date to spend any credit they have with the site or download any songs they've already purchased.
         
    On Wednesday afternoon, the site was unavailable for use, with visitors greeted by a note informing them that it was "down for maintenance."
         
    The e-mail said that going forward, Amie Street will focus on developing Songza.com, which is an Internet radio service that lets people build playlists with friends.