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Consumer Confidential: Amazon, Netflix, hookers

October 23, 2009 | 10:06 am

Here's your finally-a-Friday roundup of consumer news from around the Web:

--It's shaping up to be a merry e-Christmas. At least that's the message from our friends at Amazon.com, who reported a hefty 69% increase in quarterly profit and said things should continue looking swell right through the holidays. Significantly, the company's turbo-charged results were fueled primarily by sales of electronic goodies, which indicates that consumers are more comfortable buying big-ticket items -- at least if they're offered at the right price. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Watch out for aggressive sales this holiday season. Retailers know you care mostly about price, and they'll be fighting to get your business.

--Build a better mousetrap and investors will beat a trail to your door. That's the takeaway from Netflix, the online DVD-rental service, which has all but decimated brick-and-mortar rivals. The company's stock hit a 52-week high after Netflix reported a 48% spike in profit, based mostly on more people taking out subscriptions. Up next: A bigger push into online streaming of movies and stuff.

--A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit against Craigslist alleging that the site contributes to prostitution with its listings for adult services. The judge ruled that sites can't be held accountable for their content. Hookers rejoice.

-- David Lazarus

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