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It is interesting that at the same time this was released there was a press release about Barnes and Nobles IPO (previously delayed) for their online group where one of the underwriters is Salomon Smith Barney.,1999/03/18,N18225743

I would assume that in order to effectively price the IPO for B and N they did an analysis of Amazon.

Barnes & Noble, Bertelsmann set online venture IPO
March 18, 1999 09:29 AM
NEW YORK, March 18 (Reuters) - Barnes & Noble Inc. BKS , the No. 1 U.S. bookstore chain, and German media giant Bertelsmann AG said on Thursday they had registered for an initial public offering of 15 to 20 percent of their online joint venture,

The offering is being underwritten by a syndicate of investment banks led by Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch and including Salomon <u>Smith Barney</U> and Wit Capital, an investment banker that pioneered taking companies public via the Internet and that itself is planning an IPO.
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