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Comparison Shopping Sites and Deep Linking Controversy

The use of crawlers (automated index tools) to mine data from web sites to create market comparison shopping services for subscribers is the focus of this Wall Street Journal article, Are Bots Legal?. An example of such a service is , whose home page proclaims, “Never Pay Retail Again!.” Users may search through categories of consumer goods for competitive pricing options that then lead to deep links on the sites that range from real estate brokers to auctioneers. These deep links bypass e-commerce based sponsors and links that are hosted by the “retailers,” which they contend causes them to lose business, and revenue.

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