updated 07:30 am EST, Thu January 20, 2011
Amazon completes takeover of Lovefilm
Amazon on Thursday took control of Lovefilm in a deeper drive into movie rentals. Having already taken a minority stake, it planned to buy the remain shares in the European service. The two companies cast it as an expansion of Amazon VOD into Europe.
Lovefilm had already been running a rough parallel to Netflix in Europe. It had bought Amazon's European DVD rental service in 2008 and had more recently begun streaming shows to computers, the PS3 and some TVs.
The new gesture is likely a preemptive strike against any possible expansion by Netflix but also as a competitive measure against Apple. iTunes already serves movies and TV shows in some European countries where Amazon's existing service has been US-focused.
Amazon expects the deal to be completed by the end of March.