Amazon Eyes Internet Service Offering

Amazon.com is considering offering internet service directly to consumers in Europe, said a person briefed on the discussion. That would allow Amazon to bundle internet access with its Prime streaming video offering, the person said, making it more competitive with cable operators which already offer a similar broadband-video package.

Amazon is already a strong competitor in streaming video, selling both its own Prime service and subscriptions to cable channels like Starz. Adding internet service could help it gain more video customers and would make it the latest tech company to try its hand in providing broadband access, not just the services that run on top of it. Google has tried both with cellular and wired broadband networks, so far without showing signs of much success.

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In the U.S., Google is re-selling wireless broadband service for mobile devices from T-Mobile and Sprint, under the Google Fi brand. It’s unclear how well that initiative is performing. Google also has dug its own ditches to lay fiber optic cable in some U.S. markets, a costly project that has struggled.

Darcy Rossiter commented on this article.
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In parts of Europe, such as Britain, broadband providers like British Telecom are required to offer wholesale access to their network to rivals.