SAN FRANCISCO -- Amazon's ( AMZN) performance in the third quarter will hinge on whether it behaves like Google ( GOOG) in a down economy or takes its cues from eBay ( EBAY).

Both Google and eBay talked about the strains caused by the economy in their earnings last week.

But Google managed to beat estimates despite the downturn, while eBay offered a bleak outlook as a result of it.

Now it's Amazon's turn to show how it will fare amid macroeconomic troubles. The online retailer reports its results after the closing bell Wedesday. Analysts predict earnings of 25 cents a share on revenue of $4.28 billion. Amazon has offered revenue guidance of a range between $4.2 billion and $4.43 billion.

Since eBay is Amazon's closest rival, many analysts have been paying particular attention to its results. Although the online auction site edged out Wall Street earnings estimates for the third quarter, it fell short on revenue. eBay also expects a stronger U.S. dollar to hurt its businesses overseas in the fourth quarter, along with a slowdown in consumer spending during the crucial holiday season.

Amazon may be subject to the same slowdown in consumer spending, which can already be seen in deteriorating e-commerce. Jeffrey Lindsay, an analyst for Sanford Bernstein, pointed out in his research that overall e-commerce numbers in the U.S. continue to decelerate throughout the third quarter, growing only 6.4% year over year, down from a 12% increase in the first half of the year and far lower than the 20.2% increase seen in 2007.

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