Amazon has added a number of web-based services including Prime Photos and Prime Video to its popular subscription service. Should the latest rumor out of the mill pan out, Internet itself could be the next service on offer.
A person said to be familiar with the discussion tells The Information (paywall, via Ars Technica) that Amazon is considering offering home Internet service in Europe. Rather than build out its own network, Amazon would purchase access from an established broadband provider at wholesale and sell it under its own brand.
Taking it a step further, Amazon could bundle the Internet service with existing Prime services, thus creating a bundle that wouldn’t be all that different from what some cable TV and Internet providers offer today (think AT&T / DirecTV).
By law, broadband providers in select regions are required to offer rivals wholesale access to their network. That’s not the case in the US, however, as the FCC doesn’t require ISPs to sell access to their networks.
You’d think the opposite would be true considering major wireless providers sell access to their networks on a regular basis. Google’s Project Fi wireless service, for example, combines the networks of Sprint, T-Mobile and U.S. Cellular into a single, seamless offering.
Nevertheless, the rules aren’t likely to change anytime soon which means Amazon is unlikely to try a similar scheme stateside.
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