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Amazon poised to win big as India launches annual festive shopping spree


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Two freshly delivered Amazon boxes are seen on a counter in Golden, Colorado August 27, 2014. REUTERS/Rick Wilking/Files

By Nivedita Bhattacharjee

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Inc (AMZN.O) could emerge as the biggest winner from one of India's most important festive - and shopping - seasons, after the e-tailer offered steep discounts, swift delivery and even gold bars to grab market share.

The month-long festive season, which began on Monday, culminates in Diwali, or the Festival of Lights, but the first nine days are considered an especially auspicious time to make big purchases.

Analysts say e-commerce firms in India could make as much as a quarter of their annual sales during this period, with the global experience, logistics network and deep pockets of Amazon putting it in a good position to grab customers from local market leader Flipkart and smaller firm Snapdeal.

"Amazon has been closing in," said Harish...