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"Technical Difficulty" May Cost Amazon $9.2 Million

Internet retailer Amazon is believed to have lost millions of dollars in trade due to a "technical difficulty" affecting its web site on Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal has reported.

For more than three hours, US customers were met with blank pages, a malfunctioning search engine and an unusable shopping cart during what was only the fourth major outage in Amazon's 15 year history.

Market experts estimate the three-hour break in service resulted in a loss of $9.2 million for the Seattle-based online shopping portal. On average, Amazon is said to generate around $51,400 every minute.

The problem was reported by thousands of users on micro-blogging site Twitter, minutes after the outage began.

Although Amazon has not revealed the reason behind the incident, a spokesman for the company has described the outage as a “technical difficulty”.

Amazon’s director of communications Drew Herdener said: "Yesterday we encountered technical problems on our U.S. website. The site is now back online."