Online DVD rental service Lovefilm is to acquire Amazon.com’s DVD
rental business in the UK and Germany. As part of the deal, Amazon
will become the largest shareholder in Lovefilm and promote its
services on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.de. To ensure a smooth
transition, Amazon will continue to operate the DVD rental
business on behalf of Lovefilm for a short period after the close
of the acquisition.
A statement from the companies said that no staff reductions are
planned at Amazon’s German or UK operations as part of the
business transfer. Following completion of the transaction, the
new Lovefilm subscriber base will total more than 900,000
customers in the UK, Germany, Sweden, Norway and Denmark.
The Lovefilm/Amazon deal comes just days after Amazon.com
announced it was buying spoken-word content provider Audible.com.
Through its websites in the US and the UK and alliances in
Germany and France, Audible.com offers more than 80,000
programmes, including audio books from well-known authors such as
Stephen King and Jane Austen and audio content from publications
such as The New Yorker and Forbes. The deal is worth some $300
million (approximately £152 million).