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Thursday, January 20, 2011
Amazon to Buy LOVEFiLM DVD Rental Service

Amazon.com, Inc. today announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire the remaining shares in LOVEFiLM International Limited (www.LOVEFiLM.com).

LOVEFiLM is a 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.

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

Lovefilm, which began as a pure DVD rental company in 2002, has more than 1.4 million members around the UK as well as significant interests in Germany and Scandinavia.

For a monthly fee, subscribers can receive movies and TV shows through the post or watch them over a broadband internet connection.

AmAzon.com's move could help guard against the possibility that US rival Netflix, which has more than 16 million subscribers, could invade the British market. Last year Netflix suggested that it was looking to expand internationally, and is believed to be targeting Europe.

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