Haven't heard of Lovefilm
? If you live in North America (or anywhere
outside of Europe, really), we wouldn't be surprised. But have you heard
? Essentially, Lovefilm is Netflix for Europe, and soon,
Lovefilm will be a part of Amazon. It's likely that Netflix was simply
too pricey for Amazon
to pick up, but Lovefilm is another story. Amazon
already has a Video on Demand service of their own, but there's nothing
quite like swallowing the competition in order to grow your own
In fact, this acquisition also puts Amazon in the DVD-by-mail business,
which it hasn't been a part of until now. The new agreement states that
Amazon will acquire "the remaining shares" of Lovefim, which currently
rents DVDs and video games by mail. They also stream films and TV shows
to PCs and PlayStation 3 consoles, currently operating in the UK,
Germany, Sweden, Norway and Denmark.
For those that have followed this saga, you may know that this isn't the
first time that Amazon and Lovefilm have tied the knot. In 2008,
Lovefilm acquired Amazon Europe's DVD rental business, so the two
already have a working relationship. It looks as if service will keep on
going without interruption, with Lovefilm simply benefiting from
Amazon's cash pool and reach. The acquisition still has to clear all
regulatory hurdles, and both companies expect it to do so by the end of
Amazon to Acquire LOVEFiLM International Limited
LUXEMBOURG & LONDON January 20, 2010 Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) today announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire the remaining shares in LOVEFiLM International Limited (www.LOVEFiLM.com <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®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.
³LOVEFiLM 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,² said Greg Greeley, Amazon¹s Vice President of European Retail.
³LOVEFiLM and Amazon have enjoyed a strong working relationship since LOVEFiLM acquired Amazon Europe¹s DVD rental business in 2008, and we look forward to a productive and innovative future.²
³The deal is a winner for the members who love LOVEFiLM because of its value, choice, convenience and innovation in home entertainment,² said Simon Calver, Chief Executive of LOVEFiLM International. ³With Amazon¹s unequivocal support we can significantly enhance our members¹ experience across Europe.²
The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals, and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2011.