Amazon.com Web site goes down

By , IDG News Service |  Business, Amazon

Amazon.com appears to be suffering a major outage on Friday, with visitors to the site seeing a page that says: Http/1.1 Service Unavailable.

It's not clear how long the outage has been happening, but it appears to be affecting only the U.S. site. Sites outside of the U.S., including Amazon.ca, Amazon.co.uk., Amazon.de, Amazon.co.jp and Amazon.fr are working properly.

Amazon.com did not immediately reply to a request for comment about the outage but it has posted a brief note in an online forum. "We are currently investigating an issue that has impacted the availability of the Amazon.com website. Engineers are actively engaged in resolving this issue and we will provide an update once the issue is resolved. We appreciate your patience during this time," according to the note.

Some gamers are suggesting that the sale of the PS3 game, Metal Gear Solid 4, may have crashed the site, although it's unlikely that they would have generated enough volume to bring down the site.

Ironically, a page with Amazon's outage policy for people selling items in its Marketplace is live. It says that if the outage lasts more than 30 minutes but less than or equal to two hours, listings are extended for twice the time of the outage. An outage that lasts longer than two hours gives a listing an additional 24 hours, the site says.

Amazon has had outages before, though rarely. In 2004, the site was down for four or five hours, in the midst of year-end holiday shopping season. A two-hour outage hit in 2006.

More recently, Amazon has had some outages in its hosted offerings, Amazon Web Services.

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