Amazon could soon launch local services

Amazon (NYSE:AMZN) could soon launch a marketplace for local services intended to connect consumers with everything from babysitters to handymen. The move would put the retailer in direct competition with local listings, consumer review sites and Craigslist.

The online retailer is reportedly prepping the program to test in a single market, according to Reuters.

Services aren't new for Amazon — the company has been growing the Amazon Fresh grocery delivery program now in three markets — but a local services marketplace would extend its position as the facilitator for transactions by third party vendors.

Amazon has contacted San Francisco-based Thumbtack, a startup that matches services providers with consumers, reports Reuters. Additionally, CEO Jeff Bezos is personally invested in Pro.com, which helps consumers connect with home improvement service providers and provides cost estimates. Home improvement retailers Home Depot (NYSE:HD) and Lowe's (NYSE:LOW) are engaged in similar efforts.

One company already operating in the category, Angie's List, estimated in 2011 that the market for local services was roughly $400 billion.

For more:
-See this Reuters story

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