Online retailer reportedly looking to offer access and video package in U.K. and Germany.
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An intriguing report from tech news website The Information this week has Amazon considering offering internet service in Europe.
The online retailing giant is apparently looking to package internet access together with its Prime Video offering, which would make it a direct competitor to traditional cable providers.
Amazon is considering such a move in the United Kingdom and Germany, according to the report, because regulators there require network owners to sell wholesale access to third-party internet service providers.
That’s why consumers in the countries have a surfeit of ISPs to choose from. In the U.K., even supermarket chain Tesco has sold internet service.
Amazon, which has no plans to build its own internet networks a la Google, couldn’t consider a similar plan in the United States because the country has no mandated wholesale access, according to The Information.
There is another country that does, however: Canada.
The European report is intriguing in a Canadian context in light of the rumours that Amazon is considering expanding its Prime Video service north after Rogers and Shaw shut down Shomi at the end of November.
Prime Video is Netflix’s primary competitor in the United States. Amazon is pumping huge money – an estimated $3 billion (U.S.) per year – into creating original content for Prime Video.
Perhaps the likeliest way for the company to recoup that huge investment is by signing up lots of subscribers, which would mean following Netflix’s lead into major international expansion.
Amazon does already offer Prime membership in Canada, although its primary benefit is free shipping and does not yet include the video service.
With Shomi’s shutdown and existing wholesale internet rules, the stars are aligning for the company to add both video and internet to Prime in Canada. That’s not to say it’ll happen, but consumers would certainly flock to it if it did.