IBM, Microsoft test shopping

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IBM Corp. said it will launch World Avenue, an Internet shopping mall positioned as a "low-cost, risk-sharing" way for retailers to experiment with electronic commerce. IBM expects to have 20 retailers signed when the site opens this fall; Limited Inc.'s Express is the first. For a retailer putting up a catalog of 300 items, IBM will charge a $30,000 set-up fee, $2,500 a month for maintenance and 5% of revenues.

Separately, Microsoft Corp. said today it bought eShop Inc., an online commerce company, as a way to speed up Microsoft's development of electronic commerce software for retailers; Microsoft also expects retailers in the eShop Plaza on the Web to move to Microsoft Network.

Copyright June 1996 Crain Communications Inc.

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