Amazon acquires European movie streaming & rental company Lovefilm

Today, Amazon, America’s largest online retailer, announced it acquired Lovefilm, one of the leading European movie rental services.

Prior to the acquisition, Amazon owned a minority share of the company. Exact details of the sale were not disclosed, but reports estimate the value to be between $200 and $270 million.

Lovefilm offers similar services to Netflix, including rent by mail, and streaming access to films, has close to 2 million members and operates in the U.K., Germany, Sweden, Norway and Denmark.

With rumors of a Netflix global expansion, the move by Amazon appears strategic. The company, which already has established connections I the entertainment industry, currently offers its own streaming rental service in the United States, and owns the movie database IMDb.