Europe Now Pays More for Amazon Prime; Bad News For America?

Amazon just increased the price of Prime in the UK and Germany by 64%. Does this mean higher prices in the US, soon?
Amazon Box In London
As we've previously reported, Amazon has been contemplating raising the cost of its popular Prime shipping service by as much as $40. However, when we polled our readers, that news didn't go over so well. In a DealNews survey, 65% of respondents said that they would definitely not pay more for the service.

That said, Amazon's latest move might have many of you warming up your fingers, getting ready to do some cancellation-clicking, because we've learned that the mega-retailer has just hiked the price of Prime in Europe. An annual subscription in the UK jumped from £49 to £79 ($131) and from €29 to €49 ($67) in Germany. The ostensible reason for the overseas hikes is that Amazon has bundled Lovefilm, a previously stand-alone video-streaming service, into Prime and thinks it adds enough value to warrant a higher cost.

Since these price hikes are tied to the combining of services and, in the US of A, we already have our video bundled with our Prime, we should be safe from any price hijinx, right? Well, perhaps. Amazon's domestic video streaming options are generally considered to be scant and/or unsatisfactory, but if the site super-charged the content so that it's as good as Lovefilm supposedly is, Amazon may similarly feel that the service is worthy of a higher cost.

Of course, the other way to view this situation is to assume that the higher prices in Europe are setting a bad precedent, and it's only a matter of time before Amazon turns its price-enlarging ray on services in the US. There's also the third way to look at it, which is that we could all save a bit of money by moving to Germany, where the new "higher" price is still $12 less than it currently is in America. (Ich möchte Amazon Prime, bitte!)

What do you think? Is the hike in Europe an omen of a price jump here in the states, or do you think that one has nothing to do with the other? Tell us your opinions in the comments below, bitte!

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Jeff Somogyi
DealNews Contributing Writer

Jeff Somogyi is constantly trying to come up with ways to surprise and delight audiences the world over. He takes humor seriously ... too seriously. (Honestly, we've never seen him laugh ... it's kinda creepy.)
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By the way I am a US Prime Member!
Have a good day,
Just received a letter in the old inbox from Amazon stating my 2015 renewal will be increasing $20 & will cost $99.
So it is no longer speculation for me.
Unless they are going to do something else to increase the value (more prime TV & Videos) or ditch the "add on" program most likely I am gone in 2015
A tiered Prime subscription makes sense, some ONLY want the shipping. Either way, I'm not getting rid of my Prime account. I love Amazon!
They need to separate the "premium" features and the free shipping portion. I use Prime only for the free shipping and will not pay more for the videos.
For my family budget, with small kids, we go through a lot of diapers. Prime is a good deal for this as the savings on diapers in a year pay for Prime and everything else is a bonus. As our kids grow, I will have a hard time offsetting the prime costs with savings. Of course there is convenience to consider, but ultimately it comes down to what savings I can realize through a membership.
I can see my time enjoying free shipping coming to an end, and a price increase will certainly hasten it.
That said, I'm almost certain they will raise the price as that's what all indications seem to be.

I'll just spend more time on Dealnews when that happens to find my own discounts!!!!!
i sure hope this does not mean a price hike. i live on very tight monthly budget and i am at my max and i love amazon.
Amazon is the undisputed king of choice (I mean, how many brands of toilet bowl brush does one need?), so a plausible solution might be to provide users with a few options. As a frequent Amazon Prime Instant Video user, I personally might be tempted to pay more for a more robust selection of shows, but I can definitely see how many (or most) subscribers might not be in the same boat.
I think the price hike is an omen to higher prices here... Assuming it goes over well in Europe. If membership their drastically decreases, I think Amazon will avoid supercharging the video service bundle and not raising the cost.