Press Release

<< Back Auctions and Discovery Channel Online Host Exclusive Rare Fossil Auction

Discovery's First-Ever Online Auction to Bring Extraordinary Fossils to Both Enthusiasts and Serious Collectors

SEATTLE-August 2, 1999 --Magnificent and rare fossils from Discovery Channel Online ( will soon be auctioned exclusively on Auctions (NASDAQ: AMZN). Beginning today, fossil fans and collectors can visit to preview photos and descriptions of the unique specimens that will be available for bid as of August 9. More items will be previewed and opened for bidding throughout the month of August.

The auction will feature more than 100 valuable fossils, some dating back to the Cambrian era, 500 million years ago. Pieces being auctioned come from the far corners of the world and include the skeleton of a 165-thousand-year-old, eight-foot-tall Ice Age cave bear found in the Russian Ural Mountains; the remains of a 90-million-year-old ammonite, an extinct mollusk unearthed in Canada; and a fossilized Ichthyosaurus, a Jurassic sea reptile that roamed through Germany approximately 170 million years ago. Each of the fossils, large and small, represents a unique and critical chapter of life on earth. For a variety of prices, amateur collectors and serious fossil connoisseurs alike can purchase these one-of-a-kind testimonies to the earth's past on the Auctions site.

"We're excited to be working with to give customers a chance to own a unique piece of our earth's history," said Joel Spiegel, vice president and general manager of Auctions. "Paleontologists, fossil collectors, and dealers usually have to travel worldwide to purchase rare or hard-to-find pieces. With Auctions, we can bring's amazing fossil collection right into people's homes, making them available to a much broader audience."

"We are delighted to be working with Auctions to present this unique online auction," said Andrew Sharpless, senior vice president, "This auction is representative of's commitment to breaking new ground to bring online audiences innovative ways to explore and connect with the world around them." and Auctions will officially announce the auction and host a sneak preview tonight at the Discovery Channel Destination Store: Washington, D.C., where eager fossil aficionados can get a live look at some of the unusual specimens will be selling in its first-ever online auction. These fossils will be available for purchase only through Auctions.

Tonight's Discovery Store preview, held from 5 to 7 p.m., is open to the press and public. The event will feature the formidable Ice Age cave bear and other precious fossils, as well as a special presentation by internationally accredited paleontologist and geologist Dr. Stefano Piccini. Piccini has been working with fossils for more than 15 years and is recognized for both his extensive expertise and passion for educating people about the paleontological information and principals that unlock the secrets to our history on this planet.

For more information about fossils and fossil collecting, visitors can head directly to, where online audiences can join a fossil collecting expedition currently underway in the Alaskan wilderness. The site will feature information on how to get involved in local digs and updates on all the latest dinosaur finds.

Press interested in attending the preview event should call Eileen Ratnofsky, Discovery Communications, (301) 771-4449.

About, Inc., Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), the Internet's No. 1 music, No. 1 video, and No. 1 book retailer, opened its virtual doors on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth's Biggest SelectionTM with online auctions, toys, electronics, free electronic greeting cards, and more than 4.7 million book, music-CD, video, DVD, and computer-game titles. seeks to be the world's most customer-centric company, where people can find and discover anything they may want to buy online. As part of its efforts to provide the best shopping experience for customers, provides secure credit-card payment, personalized recommendations, streamlined ordering through 1-ClickSM technology, and hassle-free auction bidding with Bid-ClickSM. operates two international Web sites: in the United Kingdom and in Germany. also operates PlanetAll (, a Web-based address book, calendar, and reminder service. It also operates the Internet Movie Database (, the Web's comprehensive and authoritative source of information on more than 150,000 movies and entertainment programs and 500,000 cast and crew members dating from the birth of film in 1892 to the present. also operates (, the sole provider of live-event auctions on the Internet.

In addition, has invested in leading Internet retailers that are improving the lives of customers by making shopping easier and more convenient:, an online retail and information source for health, beauty, wellness, personal care and pharmacy, at;, the online leader for pet products, expert information, and services, at; and, the first fully integrated Internet grocery-shopping and home-delivery service, with operations in Seattle and Portland, Oregon, at

This announcement contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that include, among others,'s limited operating history, anticipated losses, unpredictability of future revenues, potential fluctuations in quarterly operating results, seasonality, consumer trends, competition, risks of system interruption, management of potential growth, risks related to auction services, and risks of new business areas, international expansion, business combinations, and strategic alliances. More information about factors that potentially could affect's financial results is included in's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 1998 and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 1999.

NOTE:, Auctions,,, Internet Movie Database, PlanetAll, Earth's Biggest Selection, Bid-Click, and 1-Click, are either registered trademarks or trademarks of, Inc., or its affiliates. All other names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

About Discovery Channel Online
The award-winning Discovery Channel Online (DCOL) ( satisfies visitors' curiosity by providing dynamic ways to explore and interact with the real world. Featuring original content for the web, DCOL is the comprehensive resource for up-to-the-minute science news headlines, real-time expeditions around the world, and original in-depth feature editorials covering science, technology, nature, history and exploration. Discovery also operates Discovery Online Store located at, which further connects users to the Discovery brand by making unique and quality items available to a large audience. Discovery Channel Online and Discovery Online Store are services of Discovery Enterprises Worldwide, a unit of Discovery Communications, Inc., a privately held, diversified media company headquartered in Bethesda, Md.

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