Internet retail giant Amazon is allegedly investigating the possibility of launching its own fixed line home broadband and phone service in Europe (the United Kingdom is said to be first on their list), which would probably involve selling a triple-play bundle with their Prime Instant Video (TV) content.
Apparently insider sources close to the company have informed The Information (paywall) that this is precisely what the company is planning, although we’d take that with a pinch of salt until some solid information emerges. But according to the article, the UK would be one of Amazon’s first European targets due to the ease at which an ISP can be established.
Certainly it’s fairly straightforward to setup an ISP in the UK, assuming the intention is one that doesn’t involve building your own network (i.e. reselling another ISP’s products or buying a managed wholesale solution). A number of retailers, such as John Lewis, have managed to enter the market quite quickly by taking a similar approach and Amazon could be mooting the same.
Entering an aggressively competitive market is one thing, but making a success of it is quite another. However Amazon does have a formidable presence and, much like the Post Office, it would be in a prime position to attract a significant proportion of consumers away from traditional ISPs. Indeed that might even be enough to make the wider market a little nervous (unless of course you’re the ISP they choose to partner with).
At this stage Amazon are only understood to have discussed the idea at a high level, which might not translate into an actual product. However broadband would be a good fit for the company and it could be used to help grow their Internet based TV / video streaming solutions.
Plus in Amazon’s mind the longer you spend with their name in your head, the more likely you are to buy something off their website. The dream of a full circle style consumer experience, from Internet access delivery to online content distribution and shopping, is something Amazon could deliver.