Amazon's Black Friday sales increased 13% year-over-year, and eBay's (EBAY) PayPal, Google's (GOOG) revamped product search site and GSI Commerce (GSIC), an online sales system provider, all enjoyed a rich slice of the Black Friday action, said ThinkEquity's review of the e-commerce numbers.
In other Amazon news, the company announced Thursday that it invested $175 million in daily deal site LivingSocial, a rival of online discounter -- and previously rumored Google target -- Groupon.
Shares of Amazon closed down 85 cents, or 0.48% at $175.68 on Friday.
Despite the weekend's uptick in online shopping, shares of eBay fell Monday after analyst firm Stifel Nicolaus downgraded the company amid valuation concerns. Stifel analyst Jordan Rohan changed his eBay rating from buy to hold, citing lack of upward earnings momentum and competition from the free shipping offered by the likes of Amazon. The analyst also voiced his concern about margins in eBay's PayPal business. eBay's stock closed down 30 cents, or 1%, at $29.61 at the end of play on Friday.
The rumor mill surrounding a Google acquisition of Groupon went into overdrive this week with talk of a possible $6 billion deal -- Google's largest, ever. But after chatter pushed Google shares down Tuesday, a news site affiliated with the Chicago Tribune reported that Groupon rejected the offer, preferring instead to stay independent and mull an IPO. Also circulating around Google was the European Commission's decision to open an investigation into allegations that Google has been abusing its dominant position in online search. The move comes after a preliminary probe launched earlier this year following complaints from three European Internet companies. The European Commission, the EU's executive body, confirmed Tuesday that it will investigate whether Google lowered the ranking of unpaid search results of competing services. Google's shares nonetheless closed up $1.18, or 0.21%, at $573 on Friday.
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