BUSINESS
12/21/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Holiday Shopping Price Wars Move Online

SAN FRANCISCO -- As deserted malls and department stores struggle to court cash-short consumers with steep discounts this holiday season, a similar and even more ferocious price war is being waged online.

Internet retailers, trying to navigate what is shaping up to be the first truly dreary holiday shopping season ever on the Web, are engaging in price-cutting and discounting so aggressive that it threatens their profit margins and, in some cases, their very survival.

For example, Sony introduced its HDR-SR11 high-definition digital video recorder in April with a suggested retail price of $1,200. This week, Dell.com was selling it for $899, and the electronics retailer Abe's of Maine had it on its site for $750 -- and both were throwing in free shipping.

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