Amazon Considers Hiking Prime Membership by Up to $40

Amazon Considers Hiking Prime Membership by Up to $40E-commerce behemoth Amazon may raise the price of its Prime membership by $20 to $40 over the next year for U.S. customers.
Membership currently goes for $79 per year, but the company hasn’t increased the price in nearly a decade.
The announcement came during the company’s earnings call. Amazon reported $25.6 billion in fourth quarter revenue, a 20 percent increase over the same period in 2012. That’s within the range the company had predicted, but missed Wall Street estimates of $26 billion.
Nonetheless, Amazon said it is looking into raising Prime membership by up to $40 because of rising costs of shipping items, and the associated fuel costs.
Amazon’s Prime membership is an annual subscription that gives frequent shoppers “free” 2-day shipping on any item sold through the retail giant or one of its affiliate sellers.
Prime members also get access to Amazon’s Kindle e-book library-lending program and the Prime Instant Video service, which contains a collection of movies and TV shows that members can stream for free.
That big streaming service component begs the question: Is the Prime membership hike good news for Netflix?
Even at Amazon’s low-end, the estimated monthly cost of Prime would come in just above the monthly rate of Netflix. Netflix costs $7.99 a month standard; a $20 increase to the Prime yearly membership would boost its monthly breakdown to $8.25.
In the conference call, Amazon CFO Thomas Szkutak did not address whether the company would consider breaking off its video service as a standalone subscription.

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