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With cars, drivers, Google revs up home delivery

21
Mar
2014

By Alexei Oreskovic SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – When Google started testing a free same-day shopping delivery service in San Francisco last year, industry observers were surprised by the companys foray into a notoriously tricky and decidedly low-margin real-world business. It was a rookie mistake, one that underscores how Google is wading into unfamiliar territory — a business, now contested by seasoned hands Amazon.com Inc and eBay Inc. that claimed many victims during the first dotcom boom. For Google, which dominates the wildly profitable Web search advertising business, dispatching drivers and delivering packages seems like an expensive diversion with an uncertain payoff. Online shopping is an area that Google, which has ambitions to dominate every aspect of the Web, has traditionally had a limited presence in.

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