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Is Amazon about to start selling broadband in the UK?

Friday, October 21st 2016 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

Amazon is planning to offer broadband services in Europe, according to reports.

A “person briefed on the discussion” told The Information that the retail giant is considering offering an internet service directly to customers in Europe.

They said Amazon is likely to bundle the service in with its Prime subscription service.

It is thought that Amazon sees launching a broadband service in Europe as more straightforward than in the US because several companies in the EU already allow others to share their infrastructure.

BT is required to allow its rivals to access the Openreach network and similar regulation in Germany sees Deutsche Telekom open up its infrastructure to competitors.

There is no such regulation in the US, so Amazon would be faced with the expensive task of building its own network.

Google has so far launched its fibre to the premises service in eight US cities but has recently delayed the construction of fibre lines in San Jose and reportedly suspended a project in Portland.

Amazon has been regularly adding to the amount of perks that come with Prime membership over the past few years.

TV expenditure

It now offers free video and music streaming, unlimited online photo storage and fresh food deliveries as well as free next-day deliveries.

It has also ploughed millions into producing original content for its video on demand platform in a bid to rival Netflix.

According to IHS Market, Amazon has more than doubled its annual expenditure on both original and acquired TV programming since 2013.

Netflix has also more than doubled its expenditure on programming and has announced it will release 1,000 hours of original shows and movies in 2017 – up from 600 hours this year.

Infographic: Online Platforms Double Down on TV Programming | Statista
Amazon and Netflix have more than doubled their TV expenditure since 2013. Graphic by Statista

The investment seems to be working, with the company having added 3.2m subscribers outside the US in the past three months.

Earlier this month, Amazon also introduced a new premium music service designed to take on Spotify and Apple Music.

Amazon Music Unlimited is available to Prime subscribers for £7.99 a month and non-members for £9.99 a month.

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