Amazon Hits Its Most Loyal Customers With A 64% Price Increase In Europe

Jeff bezosBusinessWeek / BIAmazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

Amazon has raised the price of some Amazon Prime memberships in Europe to as much as $US131, according to GigaOm.

Amazon Prime is for Amazon’s core customers: In the U.S., customers pay a flat fee of $US79 for “free” two-day shipping all year, plus a bunch of streaming video options.

The European price hike would thus represent a 64% increase in the cost of a Prime membership in the U.K., which was previously about $US81.

The change in prices comes because the company has bundled together two previously separate services in the U.K. and Germany, “Lovefilm” and Prime, GigaOm says: “As a result of the rollup, the prices of a Prime membership in the U.K. and Germany will increase to £79 ($131) and €49 ($67) per year, respectively.”

The move suggests Amazon could eventually increase Prime prices in the U.S., too. Amazon CFO Tom Szkutak floated the price hike as a trial balloon on the company’s last earnings call. He suggested the price could rise up to $US40 — to nearer $US119. Fuel and shipping costs were his stated concern.

But Amazon stock has performed poorly of late, too. It’s currently around $US350, down from highs over $US400. The fall came when the company missed analysts’ revenue estimates for its Q4 earnings.

Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.

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