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Results on the study of the surface magnetization process and domain structure by magneto-optical Kerr effect in conventional rapidly quenched amorphous magnetic wires are reported. Domain imaging confirms the presence of a bamboo-type structure in the near-surface region of these materials. Surface Kerr loops show that the overall magnetization in the near-surface region has a large axial component, besides the circular one. A bistable magnetic behavior on the axial direction has been emphasized. A circularly applied field leads to the disappearance of axial magnetic bistability. Kerr loops are changed by the presence of 180° interdomain walls in the near-surface region.