Online giant watched its shares sink 13% yesterday following rumours it was planning to file for bankruptcy.

The hearsay, strongly denied by the etailer, is hardly new, but has recently been going the rounds more vigorously than usual.

However, it was not all bad news for Amazon. Yesterday it unveiled its new music download service via which surfers can access songs from hundreds of artists free of charge. Moreover, unlike Napster’s file-swapping service, the Amazon venture has the blessing of the music industry, since it is linked to a CD sales site and is seen as a way of driving music purchases.

Explained Greg Hart, group manager of the etailer’s music store: “There are lots of bridges back and forth between the CD buying area and the download area.”

News source: BBC Online Business News (UK)