updated 12/6/2004 10:10:11 PM ET 2004-12-07T03:10:11

Some customers had trouble reaching Amazon.com's Web site on Monday in what analysts described as probable technical difficulties for the world's largest online retailer during the crucial holiday selling season.

The problems appeared to begin Monday morning, then worsened until about 12:30 p.m. EST, when about one in five customers were unable to visit Amazon's Web site, said Roopak Patel, a senior Internet analyst at Keynote Systems Inc., which monitors the performance of major e-commerce sites.

Amazon didn't immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

Other businesses appeared unaffected, Patel said, adding that Amazon's connectivity problems appeared to ease later in the day.

"It's never a good time for a large online brand to have problems," Patel said. "Amazon customers tend to be extremely loyal, so it's hard to tell what impact this might have."

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