Lovefilm it didn't already own. The British outfit operates a subscription-based movie rental and streaming service in its home market along with Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway, and should give Amazon a very solid base from which to build its presumably Netflix-besting ambitions. Lovefilm has been just about the closest thing Europe has had to the ridiculously successful North American movie distributor and Amazon is arguably getting in just in time, given Netflix's overtures toward expanding into the UK. Customary closing conditions will need to be met before the final stamp of approval is applied, but the acquisition is expected to complete by the end of Q1 of this year. Amazon's wading into yet more content distribution, who'd have thunk it?
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.
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