April 21, 2011, 4:25 PM

Amazon’s web-hosting unit experiences technical problems

Among the services affected were Foursquare and HootSuite.

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The web-hosting unit of Amazon.com Inc. experienced technical problems today that affected operations for companies that use the service. Among  those reporting problems were mobile check-in specialist Foursquare and HootSuite, a web brand management service affiliated with Twitter.

“It seems much of the Internet is struggling today due to widespread outage problems,”  read the message this afternoon on HootSuite.com. “We're working diligently with our upstream providers to resolve the conundrums so we can be back online as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience.”

The problems affected the Amazon Web Services unit , which provides companies of all kinds, not just retailers, with data storage and computing capacity. According to a chronology on a web page the Amazon unit maintains to provide clients information on availability, the problems began early Thursday and included what the page called “connectivity errors.”

As of approximately 4 p.m. Central time, Amazon said the problems were limited to parts of the eastern United States.

Amazon is No. 1 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

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