Amazon.com has announced it will be acquiring full control of European DVD and streaming video service Lovefilm for an undisclosed amount. Lovefilm operates a Netflix-like DVD-by-mail operation in Europe, and like Netflix has recently entered the streaming video marketplace to PCs, the PlayStation 3, and selected Internet-enabled televisions.
Amazon previously controlled 42 percent of the company; part of that ownership stake had to do with Lovefilm taking over Amazon’s DVD rental business in Europe back in 2008. (The other part had to do with Amazon buying out one of Lovefilm’s initial VC investors.) Now, Amazon is willing to go all-in: the new deal seems Amazon acquiring the remaining 58 percent of Lovefilm for an undisclosed amount. Lovefilm chief Simon Calver is staying with the company.
“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 Amazon VP of European Retail Greg Greeley, in a statement.
Lovefilm currently has about 1.6 million subscribers in Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and the United Kingdom. The company has been in business since 2004.