In its second-largest acquisition, Amazon buys the company for $970 million.
More than a third of U.S. households, or 42.3 million, will have an Internet broadband connection this year, up from 34.3 million in 2004, and by 2008 almost 60% of all households will be using broadband, eMarketer reports.
Web retailers are spending a considerable amount of time and resources on their e-commerce sites to accommodate broadband users and with good reason. 42.3 million, or 36.2%, of U.S. households will have an Internet broadband connection in 2005, compared with 34.3 million households, or 29.9%, in 2004, eMarketer reports.
“E-commerce experts point to the diffusion of broadband Internet access as a key driver of online shopping,” New York-based eMarketer says in its recent report, E-Commerce in the U.S: Retail Trends. “EMarketer estimates that more than one in three U.S. households will have broadband Internet access this year and strong growth should ensure that in two years from now over half of all U.S. households will have broadband access.”
Looking ahead, eMarketer estimates that broadband penetration among U.S. households will reach 51.1 million (42.9%) in 2006, 60.4 million (49.8%) in 2007 and 69.4 million (56.3%) in 2008.
“Purchasing and researching products are two of the activities where substantial differences in usage levels exists between dial-up and broadband users,” the eMarketer report says. “About 49% of dial-up Internet users compared to 64% of broadband users buy products/services online from home.”