Online retailer Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN) said it agreed to acquire the remaining shares in DVD rental firm Lovefilm International Limited. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
London-based Lovefilm is not new to Amazon. Amazon got a 42 percent stake in Lovefilm, when Lovefilm acquired Amazon's European DVD rental business in 2008.
Lovefilm is a leading 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 Playstation3.
In 2006, Lovefilm merged with rivals Video Island and Screen Select to Europe's largest online DVD rental business. It boasts a selection of about 65,000 DVDs and games.
Lovefilm operates in the UK, Germany, Sweden, Norway and Denmark and has over 1.4 million members.
Others investors in Lovefilm include leading venture capital firms in Europ such as Arts Alliance Media, Balderton Capital, DFJ Esprit and Index Ventures.
Lovefilm offers a range of rental options in each market with free postage and no late fees. Subscribers can receive movies and TV shows through the post or watch them over a broadband internet connection for a monthly fees ranging from £4.99 to £18.99.
Under Lovefilm's digital delivery mode, subscribers can choose movies to have them streamed to their Playstation 3 or watch them online.
The deal is a winner for the members who love Lovefilm because of its value, choice, convenience and innovation in home entertainment, said Simon Calver, Chief Executive of Lovefilm International. With Amazon's unequivocal support we can significantly enhance our members' experience across Europe.
The Lovefilm deal comes at a time when its US rival Netflix, which has nearly 17 million subscribers, is said to be targeting European market.
We're now talking about other regions in the world, a spokesman told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp in December. Based on the early success of Netflix Canada, we're going to continue our international expansion next year and we're going to allocate significant dollars to it.
The Lovefilm acquisition, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close in the first quarter of 2011.