Congratulations UK PS3 owners. You’ve got Netflix! Well, a Netflix app, at least. Did we mention there is still no Netflix service in the UK? You were probably aware of that, but the appearance of the app in the PlayStation Store should offer some hope that the service is really and truly going to arrive soon.
Lovefilm is a name to remember. Right now it's just Europe's best impersonation of Netflix, only now it's owned by Amazon. It also has the backing of Samsung, which just announced plans to include the Lovefilm streaming application on all of its Blu-ray players in the U.K.
That's a pretty significant win for Lovefilm/Amazon. As far as Blu-ray players go, Samsung owns a quarter of the European market. With the app now coming standard, Samsung Blu-ray owners get access to thousands of streaming movies, from "Hollywood blockbusters, to the latest Cannes Film Festival nominees and even critically acclaimed documentaries," provided they pony up for a £5.99 (just under US$10) for a subscription.
Amazon today said it reached an agreement to acquire the remaining shares in LoveFilm International Limited, a European DVD-by-mail subscription service very similar to Netflix.
"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. "With Amazon's unequivocal support we can significantly enhance our members' experience across Europe."
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, though TechCrunch claims to "have it on good authority that LoveFilm was valued at around $312 million for the purposes of the acquisition." Amazon already owned a 42 percent stake in LoveFilm before going all in by scooping up the remaining 58 percent.
In addition to DVD-by-mail rentals, LoveFilm also offers a streaming service accessible via PCs, PlayStation 3 consoles, and some HDTVs. It will be interesting to see what Amazon does with this acquisition, and how it will affect Netflix's plans to march into Europe.