Amazon Acquires LoveFilm

So Amazon have bought the remaining shares that they didn’t already own in LoveFilm and have just announced it today. With a strong consumer presence Lovefilm provides a subscription-based movie rental and streaming service here in the UK and also Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway. Amazon are wanting to build a European equivalent to Netflix, which is a successful American movie distributor. It’s a sensible move for Amazon, and I would say without knowing the figures involved potentially the right timing for LoveFilm. The DVD rental market is set to change, due to downloads and streaming, and with so many larger companies looking to move into this space, I think LoveFilm have sold at just the right time.
Here’s the press release:
Press Release
Amazon to Acquire LOVEFiLM International Limited

LUXEMBOURG CITY and LONDON, January 20, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ —

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) today announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire the remaining shares in LOVEFiLM International Limited (http://www.LOVEFiLM.com). LOVEFiLM is a leading European subscription entertainment service which combines the benefits of online DVD and games rental-by-post as well as streaming films and TV shows instantly over the internet to PCs, internet enabled TVs and Playstation(R)3. LOVEFiLM operates today in the UK, Germany, Sweden, Norway and Denmark. Amazon already has a significant minority shareholding in LOVEFiLM and does not itself operate any similar business in Europe.

“LOVEFiLM has been innovating on behalf of movie rental customers across Europe for many years and with the advent of the LOVEFiLM player, they are further delighting customers by streaming digital movies for their immediate enjoyment,” said Greg Greeley, Amazon’s Vice President of European Retail. “LOVEFiLM and Amazon have enjoyed a strong working relationship since LOVEFiLM acquired Amazon Europe’s DVD rental business in 2008, and we look forward to a productive and innovative future.”

“The deal is a winner for the members who love LOVEFiLM because of its value, choice, convenience and innovation in home entertainment,” said Simon Calver, Chief Executive of LOVEFiLM International. “With Amazon’s unequivocal support we can significantly enhance our members’ experience across Europe.”

The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals, and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2011.

About Amazon.com

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