Amazon is considering offering internet services directly to customers in Europe, according to The Information. Bundling internet access with its current Prime offering, which includes video streaming in select European countries, could elevate Amazon’s presence on the continent. However, it’s unclear how European regulators will receive the large US company.
Amazon will be more competitive with cable operators by including internet access. By bundling its successful Prime video-streaming services with internet access, Amazon can compete with cable operators that offer similar packages. This could result in more video subscribers. Bundling services has proved popular with other large cable operators in Europe, such as British Telecom, Sky, and TalkTalk. Right now, Amazon Prime includes video streaming in the UK, Germany, and Austria.
While launching in Europe is more cost-effective than it is in the US, Amazon could struggle with European regulators.
- There are lower barriers to entry in in certain European countries, such the UK, since existing broadband providers are required to offer wholesale access to rivals. These types of regulations don’t exist in the US, making it difficult for even tech giants like Google — which has tried with both cellular and wired broadband networks — to successfully enter the market.
- Amazon’s market entry would be amid a broader trend of the EU cracking down on, predominantly, US tech firms in Europe. Companies including Facebook, Apple, and Google have recently experienced significant pushback including anti-trust and tax-fraud cases. The dominance of these businesses is making it increasingly difficult for domestic companies to compete.
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