It has been announced this morning that Amazon has completed its take over of UK-based DVD, streaming and online movie rental company Lovefilm by acquiring the 58 percent of the business it previously didn’t own.
A number of commentators have said that this move by Amazon has been taken to protect its position with rumours of US-based Netflix extending its business across the Atlantic to the UK. Lovefilm, which has 1.4 million users in the UK, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Germany, has welcomed the take over with Simon Calver, CEO, saying: “The deal is a winner for the members who love Lovefilm because of its value, choice, convenience and innovation in home entertainment. With Amazon's unequivocal support we can significantly enhance our members' experience across Europe."
Lovefilm and Amazon have been working together since 2008 when the UK-based company acquired Amazon Europe’s DVD rental business with Amazon getting a significant stake in the company in return. Amazon’s Vice President of European Retail, Greg Greely said it was Lovefilm’s online presence as well as its postal service that attracted Amazon. “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.”
In the past year Lovefilm has expanded its service and it can now be accessed through a range of internet-enabled devices such as Sony’s Bravia range of TVs, Blu-ray players, Home Cinema systems and Network Media Players. It is also available on Samsung TVs and most recently on the PlayStation3. Lovefilm can also be accessed online through the Lovefilm Player.
The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals, and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2011.