Amazon Aquiring, European Netflix-type Rentals

Aron Schatz
January 20, 2011

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Amazon has penned an agreement to buy out Lovefirm. This is a European company that operates just like Netflix in the USA. Amazon has its own video on demand service, but you must pay for titles individually. There is no all you can eat like Netflix offers.


The online retail giant had owned a minority stake in Lovefilm since 2008 when the latter bought Amazon's DVD rental business, which covered the U.K. and Germany. Fully acquiring Lovefilm is an interesting move for Amazon. The rental company is essentially Europe's answer to Netflix, offering DVD-by-mail rentals, as well as a streaming service available on PCs, the PlayStation 3, and some HDTVs. Lovefilm, which was founded in 2004, currently operates in the U.K., Germany, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. The company states that it has over 70,000 titles available to its 1.6 million customers. Amazon didn't say what it has planned for Lovefilm, but the acquisition will expand Amazon's video on demand service, which offers streaming or downloading of films in the U.S. Greg Greeley, Amazon's vice president of European retail, did take note of Lovefilm's streaming service in particular in the acquisition announcement.



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