Amazon as an ISP in Europe? Rumors say ‘yes’

Amazon is rumored to be considering offering residential Internet services bundled with the Amazon Prime Instant Video in Europe, further leveraging its already-strong position as a trusted merchant.

A report in The Information, citing an unnamed source briefed on the discussions, said the move would allow Amazon Prime to compete more directly with pay-TV service providers in Germany and the United Kingdom, as well as elsewhere in the region, while also giving more customers direct access to its variety of Prime perks, including deals on package delivery, on music and TV streaming services and more.

It’s unlikely Amazon would attempt a similar plan in the United States, primarily because government regulation of the sector would make it more difficult, but also because ISPs haven’t been required to open their network, especially the so-called last mile that connects to a customer’s home from the network , to competitors as providers in the U.K. and Germany have been.

Amazon has a substantial footprint in Germany and the U.K., helped there by being an early mover in the space via its 2011 acquisition of Lovefilm, a DVD-by-mail and SVOD company. It initially operated Lovefilm as a separate business, but folded the SVOD service into Amazon Prime in 2014.

Stay tuned.

Jim O’Neill is Editor of Videomind and Principal Analyst at Brightcove. You can follow him on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and on LinkedIn