The American Information Exchange (AMIX) was an electronic marketplace established in June 1991. It was a computerized forum for buying and selling software, research data, newsletters, and consulting services. The network facilitated the unbundling of information — instead of buying one large, expensive report, buyers could access and pay for as much, or as little, information as they need. Sellers posted their products and services online, and if a buyer was interested, the materials would be downloaded and the price would be charged to or debited from his or her credit or debit card.
The network paid the seller and kept a commission. Buyers could also use AMIX to advertise their data needs. If there was no corresponding seller, the network would provide a mechanism by which buyers and sellers could negotiate a contract to create customized information. To be part of the network, all one needed was a personal computer, a modem, a telephone line, and AMIX software.