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Amazon buys up LoveFilm and prepares to expand

Thu 20 Jan 2011 10:09am GMT / 5:09am EST / 2:09am PST
BusinessOnline

Update: Company aims for new platforms and extended catalogue but physical game rentals remain.

Amazon.com has purchased the remaining 58 per cent of LoveFilm stock, now becoming its sole owner after buying the first 42 per cent in a 2008 deal.

The retailer will now take full control of LoveFilm's operations. No details were given of how much the company had paid for the remaining stock.

"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," said vice president of Amazon's European retail, Greg Greeley.

Rumours of the full purchase began to circulate in September last year, with the Sunday Times hinting that Amazon had placed a 200 million price tag on LoveFilm. Although LoveFilm's primary business is movie rental, it also runs a game rental service, whilst Amazon's game retail provision is well established.

Earlier today, chief marketing officer Simon Morris spoke to Eurogamer about Lovefilm's plans for the future, and the advantages of becoming part of Amazon.

He wouldn't be drawn on the cost of the deal, but did confirm that the company was looking to expand to operate on as many platforms as possible as well as the current PS3 service, perhaps including the PSP2.

"Once we did that first platform extension, it's now not a surprise to people when we are going on new platforms.

"Without saying too much, we intend to be on as many platforms in the consumer's living room as possible. I'm not going to talk about specifics other than to say we've got exciting plans and we've always intended to be on as many platforms as possible."

"When we say on as many platforms as possible," he added, when asked about the possibility of PSP2 support, "[we mean] as many platforms as will support it, including portable."

As far as the company's game rental plans are concerned, Morris seemed adamant that film would take priority, and that digital game downloads were not something currently under consideration, saying that physical game rentals were "good and growing".

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