Amazon can now use analytics on competitors' ads
Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.
That's the approach Amazon is taking as it sells ad space on its Web site to competitors. Amazon already lets you buy from affiliates on its site, and it gets a piece of the action in exchange for allowing customers to buy directly through Amazon.
Now it's selling ads for "related items" alongside the products it sells -- ads that link directly to competitors' Web sites where, presumably, consumers can get the product they were searching for cheaper.
At first glance one might think this this would be a sure way to drain away sales. It may have just the opposite effect.